Camping with kids can be such a fun experience. Lots of kids really love all things associated with camping like sleeping in a tent and roasting marshmallows over a campfire. Kids on a camping trip will usually be very eager to collect firewood, help put the tent up and get the sleeping bags unrolled. They will also love exploring the campground, seeing and hearing animals they don’t often get exposed to and sitting around the campfire with the family. And while camping can be great for kids, a camping trip can pose new hazards that parents need to be mindful of. If you are planning a camping trip with kids, you may want to be sure to keep the following suggestions in mind:
Pay close attention when kids are near water
A lot of campgrounds around the country are near a recreational water source such as a swimming pool, lake, or river. The water looks fun and can be great fun on a hot day, but take care to consider safety hazards that you are not accustomed to. Kids should not be swimming in swift rivers, and they should always wear a life preserver if you are out on a boat, even if it’s just a small inflatable raft. The water looks so inviting while camping, but water-related mishaps can become life-threatening fast, so it’s really important to follow precautions and pay very close attention.
Don’t let kids stray too far
If you will be camping in a heavily wooded area with your family, keep kids close. It only takes a few minutes and a few wrong steps to get seriously lost in the woods. A lot of lost kids are found, but there have also been a lot of instances over the years of children never being recovered after wandering off into the woods during a camping trip. Remember that even in some campgrounds that are frequented by many visitors, there are still large wild animals roaming, such as the bears in Yosemite and the California Redwoods. Keep kids in your sight at all times, and if they want to check out a trail, or explore the area, go with them.
Don’t let your guard down when it comes to strangers
Just as when you are anywhere else with your child, strangers and child predators are a concern. Don’t assume that just because you are camping, everyone around you is safe for your child to be around. One of the worst cases of child abduction and murder in California history occurred when a 2-year-old little girl was kidnapped from a campground. Additionally, a lot of people choose to consume a lot of alcohol or use recreational drugs while camping, so even people who under normal circumstances wouldn’t pose any threat to your child, may be dangerous while intoxicated.