My favorite smell of summer is the campfire. It may be because I am a true lover of a good s’more or just because the scent brings back a nostalgic feeling of being a kid with my grandparents at camp, with that smell lingering in the air. As an adult, our hearts may turn to childhood thoughts but our minds are aware that there are some adulty responsibilities to be maintained as well. These responsibilities do not need to bring our summer completely back from an easier time and place. With these simple camping safety hacks you will be back and running through the sprinkler in no time.
Check for Ticks: Better Sooner Than Later
After spending any amount of time outside it is important to do a tick check. The best place to do this is actually in the shower. Make sure to check your whole body, this includes:
- Under the arms
- Throughout your hair and hairline
- Between your legs
- In and around your ears
- And yes… do not forget to look in your belly button.
If you do find a tick, do not panic!! The CDC recommends using fine-tipped tweezers to grasp the tick as close to the skin’s surface as possible. Pull upward with steady, even pressure. Don’t twist or jerk the tick; this can cause the mouth-parts to break off and remain in the skin. If this happens, remove the mouth-parts with tweezers. If you are unable to remove the mouth easily with clean tweezers, leave it alone and let the skin heal.
The Burning Ring Of Fire
Campfires. Just saying it brings about thoughts of camping. Littles are like moths, they are attracted to the flame. Taking time to be safe now will ensure that the memories you recall of sitting around the campfire are good ones. A few tips for campfire safety:
1. Make a circle around the campfire representing boundaries for children.
2. Always assist kids with campfire activities like roasting marshmallows or hotdogs.
3. Ensure everyone is wearing appropriate clothing, tight-fitting, fire retardant.
4. Have an extinguisher, bucket of water, or sand nearby to put the fire out.
5. Build the fire so that collapses into itself.
Home Sweet Campsite
Often overlooked when preparing to go camping is the safety of the site setup itself. Just as we think about safety at home, setting up your campsite to promote safe movement matters. A few ideas to keep your site safer are:
1. Determine where will most of the activity be. Make a place for kids to wash hands, get snacks, beverages, to have picnic table access, and games. Then place things like fish cleaning supplies, hot stoves, and bug spray in a separate area. This will lessen the likelihood of them having the opportunity to grab something they shouldn’t.
2. Tie glow sticks onto tent tie-downs lines, and face all tents inward, minimizing the tent tie down lines that they may need to walk over to get from one space to another.
3. Make exploration boundaries and use walkie-talkies to ensure good communication.
4. Make the campfire away from tents and high traffic areas to reduce the likelihood of tripping onto a hot surface.
BONUS TIP: They are watching you. The best way we can promote safety is being safe ourselves. Whether it is something small, like using sunscreen, or bigger, like life jackets and fire safety, children model themselves after the adults they are around.
Camping is such a great way to connect with family, friends, and nature. A few safety measures will ensure that you can spend more time outside, making memories with the ones you love.
(Sources: Ticks. (2015, June 01). Retrieved from https://www.cdc.gov/ticks/removing_a_tick.html)