By: Aileen Imai, injury prevention coordinator, MemorialCare Miller Children’s & Women’s Hospital Long Beach
With schools returning earlier and earlier each year, your summer may already be winding down, and you need one more getaway for family fun in the sun. Before your next lake-side or beach camping adventure, make sure to follow these simple pointers for a safe trip.
To avoid getting lost, encourage your kids to recognize landmarks of the campsite and acquaint themselves with their surroundings as you hike or explore. Teach them to remain where they are and stay calm if they become separated from your family. To increase visibility of your children, dress them in brightly colored clothes.
Another cause for concern while camping is the protection from dangerous insects. Ticks, for example, can carry several types of infection, including Lyme disease. To check your children for ticks, examine behind their ears, in the scalp, under the arms and in the groin area. To repel insects, use citronella-based products by putting it on clothing instead of skin whenever possible.
Your family also should avoid touching or sleeping near any unknown plants, as they may be poison ivy, poison oak or sumac. Dressing in long-sleeved shirts and pants will help protect your skin from exposure to plants or insects that may cause an allergic reaction. Long sleeves also assist in sun protection. If your skin should come in contact with a poisonous plant, immediately wash it with cool water to remove the oil causing the reaction. To determine the poisonous plants surrounding your campground, research the area ahead of time either by searching online or calling the campsite.
Before you finish packing, make sure to include these essentials:
- Map of the area and a compass
- Flashlight with extra batteries and bulbs
- Sunglasses and sunscreen
- Matches in waterproof container
- Candle or fire starter
- Supply of clean drinking water
- Insect repellent
MemorialCare Miller Children’s & Women’s Hospital Long Beach wants you and your family to have a safe, fun camping trip. Follow these helpful tips to keep your children healthy and happy during your time to unwind.
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