For many Maritime families, summer means getting out into the woods. A camping trip is a great way to spend real quality time with your kids, away from the screens and other distractions that are a part of our everyday lives. Of course, many parts of the camping experience also come with safety risks. But with some planning and education, you can help protect your kids, and keep your camping trip incident-free.
Planning your trip
- Check the weather forecast and bring the appropriate gear for the weather.
- Pack a first aid kit so you're prepared for cuts, scrapes, and other minor injuries should they happen.
- Bring sunscreen and bug spray.
- Make sure you have a working flashlight or lantern.
- Pack a map, compass, or even a GPS.
- When you arrive, familiarize yourself with what’s around: bodies of water, trails, roads, plants, animals, bathrooms etc.
- Set some boundaries for the kids.
- Remember that some age-appropriate supervision of kids is still important.
- Draw a “safety circle” about 1.2 metres (4 feet) around the campfire to provide kids with a clear boundary.
- It’s safer to have children sitting around the fire than standing around it.
- Use long sticks to roast marshmallows, not short sticks that force people to stand close to the fire.
- Keep a bucket of water or a shovel handy to completely put out the fire when you’re done.
Safe camping activities
- Make sure your kids drink plenty of water before, during, and after activity.
- Be sure to bring the proper safety gear for the activities you’re going to be doing.
- If you bring bikes, remember to also bring bike helmets.
- Make sure to bring well-fitting life jackets for anyone who can’t swim.
- Stay within arms reach of small children in the water at all times.
- If there are lifeguards on duty, be aware of their hours.