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Camping with kids—safety first

Camping is a great family bonding activity, but safety should be the first order of business. Here's how to keep your kids safe on those campouts.
Becky Rickman, FamilyShare Modified: July 11, 2014 at 8:05 am •  Published: July 13, 2014

Family campouts are a great opportunity for bonding. Leave the tablets, laptops, and all but one cell phone at home and get in touch with nature and one another. At first, it may be a bit of culture shock, but the kids will likely come to love the break from technology and the opportunity to be with family. Make it fun, plan games, and bring plenty of fun snacks.

There are safety issues to address in order to not spoil the fun. Here are some helpful hints and tips for getting them excited.

Practice camping

If your family is new to the idea of weekending in the woods, practice in your own yard. Put up tents and have a few sleepouts to get them used to the noises of nature.

Pack plenty of food and water

Having plenty of food and water on hand will take the sting out of not having a fridge and pantry handy. Bring along their favorite snacks. Comfort food gives them some familiarity.

First aid kit

Assemble or purchase a good, comprehensive first aid kit to take along. It should include bandages, gauze, tape, antibiotic ointment, alcohol wipes, ibuprofen or acetaminophen, scissors, adhesive bandages, butterfly bandages (for wound closure), safety pins, small first aid manual, tweezers, bug repellent and bug bite spray, and antihistamine. Optional items: calamine lotion, vinegar or aloe for sunburn, sling, ice pack.

Fire safety

Chances are you'll be cooking over a fire. Give the kids a good talk prior to the campout about fire safety. They tend to get rambunctious in nature, so make sure they know to keep a safe distance. Keep a bucket of water and a shovel handy for emergencies.

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