Before trekking off on your family camping trip to explore the outdoors, there’s important things you need to know about camping safety! Being prepared and knowing what to do if a family member gets injured will help keep them out of the emergency room.
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RV Living: Family Camping Safety Tips
You’ve got your family and RV all packed and are ready to hit the road for spring break or summer family camping trip! You’ve got the goodies to make s’mores, firewood, and outdoor activities planned to keep them occupied.
But, there’s one important factor missing to complete the perfect picture; camping safety.
It’s not only about knowing how to prevent accidents and injuries but also how to treat minor injuries. So, before stepping outdoors, let’s dive right into our simple safety rules and guidelines that will help you all enjoy your camping experience!
Camping Safety Tips!
Here are some helpful camping safety tips to discuss and review with your family:
- Make sure your child knows what site number and where your RV or camper is located. Write your campground site number on the back of their hand or arm.
- Have everyone muster or check in every hour or two for accountability.
- Never allow children to go near the water or docks without an adult or responsible teen with them. And make sure they wear a proper fitting life jacket.
- Always use the buddy system. Whether it’s to the bathroom, play in the woods or riding their bikes, instruct them to never go places alone.
- Never allow your children to enter another RV, camper, tent or vehicle alone and/or without your permission. Make sure you know exactly which RV, camper or tent your child is going to and if an adult will be present.
- Instruct children to never eat or drink anything from anyone you don’t know.
- Provide each child with their own kids safety whistle. Instruct them to only use it in an emergency or dyer need or distress.
- Make sure each child has their identification on them.
- Teach everyone how to use 911. Write down the name of the campground, address and site number on a whiteboard. Adhere one to the refrigerator and another to the outside door.
- Have a First Aid Kit stocked and readily available.
- Teach and review all campground rules and etiquette with all family members or members in your party.
Ounce of Prevention
There are several camping essentials you should pack in your camping safety kit that could save you or your family members from getting sick or injured from germ transmission, sunburn, insect bites and other minor injury setbacks.
Having these camping supplies readily available and within easy reach will help mitigate those owies.
Rendering First Aid
First, before even heading out on your first camping trip, take a basic first aid course so you know what to do to triage simple minor injuries. You can take an American Red Cross First Aid Course or find a basic first aid course online. Regardless of age, everyone should learn how to treat and care for minor injuries and wounds.
Also, get (re)certified in an American Red Cross CPR Course for both children and adults. There may come a day when you are the only one available to render aid.
If injuries are more severe, proper and immediate triage will buy precious time until you can get to a medical professional.
And of course, we’ve heard it a million times; it’s all fun and games until someone gets hurt. Sometimes we get so engrossed in having fun that carelessness, clumsiness, and inattentiveness result in some sort of minor injury.
Burns, bruises, cuts, scrapes and splinters always seem to be part of the camping experience, so before heading out, you’ll need to have a well supplied first aid kit.
First Aid Kit
Your first aid kit, or shall I say each first aid kit should reflect the activity and location that you may need it for.
For example, around water activities (i.e. swimming, kayaking, boating, fishing, etc.), you’ll want to stock your kit with topical antiseptic cleaner, waterproof bandages, wraps and tapes.
If you’re a hiker in rattlesnake country, you’ll want to include a tick removal set, snake bite kit and blister care bandages, and if you’re a back-country backpacker, perhaps adding in a small splint or two and first aid wraps.
First aid kits can be purchased most anywhere and range in prices from $5-$100 or you can make your own designed specifically to your family’s needs. Whether you buy one already pre-stocked or assemble your own, make certain it has all the contents you may need.
But don’t forget to restock when as needed. A good rule of thumb is ‘if you open it or use it, replace it’. If you use only a portion of gauze or bandage, consider replacing it with brand new sterile supplies. Also, be observant of expiration dates on your first aid supplies such as bandages, ointments, creams and wound cleaners.
If you decide to make your own camping first aid kit, we’ve put together a recommended shopping list of supplies. To make it a fun, educational and engaging activity, enlist age-appropriate children to help you gather the essential supplies. And show them how and when to use each of them.
Importantly though, keep first aid kit contents, especially sharp tools, OTC’s and prescriptions out of young children’s reach if they’ve not been properly trained on how to use them.
Another great camping safety tip is to insert your physician’s contact information inside your first aid kit.
However, if you don’t have time or want to leave that to the professionals, you can buy a first aid kit that’s ready to be part of your camping supplies.
If you happen to be in more complex surroundings or may require more extensive treatments, our list extends to the following recommendations, but not limited to:
That’s a wrap!
So, just remember the single most important thing: BE PREPARED and STAY CALM. By remaining calm, the injured party will stay calm as well. And having the necessary first aid supplies to mitigate further or more severe injuries will allow you to continue enjoying your RV or camping adventures.
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