Avoid Camping Injuries

 

Camping is a wonderful family activity.  It brings adults and children together in a common adventure.  Everyone can be involved in the planning of the camping trip. There is one area of preparation that should not be overlooked and that is how to prevent camping accidents.

While it's very important to know how to prevent common camping injuries, you should understand how to apply some basic first aid.  There are four major types of injuries that you are most likely to encounter when you are camping. 

Bugs and Bites

  • If you know that you are going to be in an area where there are likely to be a lot of bugs, make sure you have plenty of insect repellent.  Apply it often.  There are special insect repellents that are made for children.  They won't remember to apply the spray, so it's up to you.  In all cases, take special precaution to keep the spray out of the eyes.
  • Screened rooms on tents can give you a place to gather when the mosquitos swarm.  The Coleman large family tent has a nice screened room that is attached to the tent.  It will offer you protection from the insects when you need it.
  • Spider bites are insignificant because they are so small and their venom is too weak to harm humans.  If you are in an area where spiders are abundant, wear protective clothing, ie., long sleeves and pants.  This is also a good way to protect yourself from ticks.  If you are in the woods or tall grass, always have someone check you for ticks.  The proper way to remove a tick is to grasp it with a tweezers and pull straight out.  Because ticks burrow into your skin, make sure the head comes out too.

Cuts and Burns

  • Teach your children how to handle knives safely.  If your children are very young, make sure to keep all knives out of reach.  Of course, there are many other ways to get cut.  Accidents happen.  If someone does get cut, clean the wound out with running water.  Cover with antibiotic cream and apply a band aid over the cut.
  • Fire safety rules should be clearly stated and understood by all members of your party.  Establish a safe perimeter around the campfire.  Make sure everyone is far enough away to avoid being burned by flying sparks.  Carefully supervise the building of the fire.  Perhaps it would be better to cook on your Coleman camping grill and save the campfire for stories and marshmallows.

Dehydration

  • The best prevention for dehydration is to drink lots of water.  Dehydration occurs when the body excretes more fluids than it takes in.  Always drink water before you undertake any strenuous activity.
  • Every person in the party should have their own container of water.  It could be a canteen or  just a bottle of water in a backpack.
  • Dehydration is a serious condition.  It comes in varying degrees, from heat cramps to heat stroke.  The symptoms are thirst, headache, dry mouth and weakness.  In severe cases, the person has stopped sweating and has a rapid pulse.  He may even be delirious or unconscious.
  • First, get the person out of the sun into the shade.  Then cool him down by pouring water on him or putting a wet cloth on his face.  Try to get him to drink water.  Don't use cold water as this could send him into shock.  Loosen his clothes.  If he is unresponsive, get medical help immediately.

Sprains

  • In an outdoor setting, most sprains involve the ankles.  They can be prevented by wearing proper shoes.  If you are going to be walking on uneven terrain, you need shoes that support your ankles, not flip flops or soft sided tennis shoes.  Also, shoes with a good tread will help you maintain your footing on slippery or unstable areas.
  • The proper treatment for a sprain is best described by the acronym RICE.

                               R=Rest  Try not to put any weight on the injured area.

                                I=Ice  Put ice on the area of the sprain to reduce swelling.

                                C=Compress  Use an elastic bandage to put pressure on the swollen part which will                                         also help to immobilize it.

                                E=Elevate  Raise the injured area, above the heart, if at all possible.

Once you know how to prevent these common camping accidents, you can enjoy your trip with peace of mind.  If  injuries do occur, you will know what to do.  Just remember, as the proverb says,  "An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure".

 

Author bio:  Stephanie lives with her husband in Culpeper, Virginia.  Her home is near Shenandoah National Park where she enjoys bird watching.  She has written a binoculars review on her website, Always Outdoors, where she discusses the differences between the Nikon Monarch 7430 and the 7294.

 

 

 

 

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