Camping With Kids
That first hour in camp can be a dangerous one. Now that you're"home," busy pitching tents and unpacking, it's easy for parents to let their guard down. Meanwhile, children are naturally excited, eager to see what's what. This is just the time when they can wander off or get into trouble.
- Although the only surefire safeguard is adult supervision, all sites are not created equal. Kids love to help choose, and should be given a say. But while they've got their own agenda-good climbing trees, a path to explore-it's up to you to survey for potential hazards:
- Beware of cliffs, steep drop-offs, hills, rivers, lakes, and creeks. Some of these features, such as a creek, provide great entertainment as well as potential danger, so parents must make the call based on their children's age, temperament, and need for supervision.
- With young children along, especially toddlers, check sites for trash, particularly glass and tin, and other debris they might put in their mouths, as well as sharp roots or stumps they might fall on.
- Tent stakes and guy lines are easy to trip over. Remind kids not to run near them, and to watch out.
- Babies, toddlers, and preschoolers need constant supervision when camping, just as they do at home. For parents, there's no escaping their needs, even during vacations. One parent must often baby-sit while the other gets things done-one of many reasons why it's handy to camp with other adults.
- Establish rules and boundaries for kids of all ages. Young kids shouldn't go out of sight or away from the campsite. Older children may be allowed to visit designated areas- set a time for their return or for an adult to check on them. The buddy system is always a good idea. While campgrounds may seem like safe places full of friendly campers, remember that they're strangers. Even older children should be closely supervised.
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication