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Camping Safety Tips
September is National Preparedness Month, so it’s a good time to review your camping safety plans to protect your family from illness or injury. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention offers the following 10 suggestions:
1. Get vaccinated. Check with your doctor to see which vaccines he or she recommends.
2. Prepare safe food. Pack foods in waterproof containers and keep them in an insulated cooler. Also, wash your hands and surfaces often and cook foods to proper temperatures.
3. Include safe physical activities. Bring protective gear such as helmets, sturdy shoes and life jackets. Learn how to identify poisonous plants like poison ivy so you can avoid them, and know your limits so you can avoid injury.
4. Protect against carbon monoxide poisoning. Carbon monoxide is odorless and colorless and can lead to illness or death in people and pets. Never use fuel-powered equipment such as gas stoves, heaters or lanterns inside a tent or camper.
5. Avoid wild animals and protect family pets. Avoid touching and feeding wild animals and keep your food in sealed containers that they can’t get into. Make sure your pets are vaccinated, keep a close eye on them and check to see if they have any ticks that need to be removed.
6. Fight bug bites. Mosquitoes, ticks and other insects can carry diseases. Apply insect repellant containing DEET to exposed skin, carefully following package directions. Wear long sleeves and pants and light colored clothing to help prevent ticks and to be able to spot them more easily.
7. Prevent temperature-related illness. Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of alcohol-free and sugar-free fluids and don’t wait until you’re thirsty to drink. Stay in the shade as much as possible when it’s hot and bring plenty of warm clothing and blankets for cool nights.
8. Protect yourself from the sun. Ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun can reach you all year, even on cloudy and hazy days. Use a broad-spectrum sunscreen and lip screen containing at least SPF 15 that protects against UVA and UVB rays. Seek shade during midday when the sun’s rays are at their strongest and wear a wide-brimmed hat and sunglasses.
9. Avoid water-related illness and injury. Don’t swallow the water you swim in and take a shower before and after swimming. Never swim alone, and wear a life jacket when riding in a boat, canoe or other water vessel.
10. Be prepared. Check the weather report before you leave home and bring essentials like a first aid kit, flashlight and any medications you might need. Know who to contact at your campground if any issues come up.