Schools are letting out and summer vacations begin. Many children will be heading off to summer camps as part of their vacation recreation and many families plan their own camping trips, some for family reunions. In the spirit of having fun, a few safety precautions can prevent injuries and ensure a good time for everyone.
CDC: Camping Health & Safety Tips
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) provides good advice for campers:
- Get vaccinated. Your doctor can recommend vaccinations based on the area where you will be camping to help protect your family against certain diseases.
- Prepare safe food and water. Store foods in tight waterproof bags and containers and use insulated coolers for chilling food. Ensure you cook foods to proper temperatures and also bring drinking water.
- Plan safe physical activities. Wear helmets for bike riding, sturdy shoes for hiking and life jackets when boating.
- Avoid carbon monoxide poisoning. Do not use gas stoves, heaters, lanterns, charcoal grills or other fuel burning equipment inside a tent, camper or enclosed shelter.
- Avoid wild animals. Keep your distance from wild animals and store food where they cannot reach it. Part of keeping your distance includes not feeding wild animals.
- Protect family pets. Ensure pets are vaccinated before the camping trip and while camping, check pets for ticks and remove them immediately.
- Use bug repellant. Protect yourself against bug bites, ticks, mosquitoes, etc. and remove ticks promptly.
- Regulate temperatures. Have ways to stay warm by bringing sufficient bedding, plastic ground covers to insulate against dampness. Stay cooled off by resting in the shade and drinking lots of sugar-free fluids to prevent dehydration.
- Protect against too much sun. Use sunscreen and spend time in the shade during the hottest hours of the day.
- Protect against water-related injury/illness. Do not swim if you have diarrhea and do not drink water when swimming. Be sure to shower off afterwards. Always wear life jackets in boats and never swim alone.
- Stay alert and prepared. Bring a first aid kit, a compass or GPS, flashlight, and medications. Follow the weather reports so you can prepare for any hazardous weather conditions.
Enjoy Your Camping Trip
If you follow safety guidelines to protect against harm, camping can be lots of fun and everyone can have a wonderful time.