My wife and I have 5 kids with ages ranging from 1-14 (update: 3-16!). That means when we go camping we need to make the campsite safe for our 1 year old as well as well as our 14 year old (and everyone in between).

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We have found that this can actually be quite a challenge but here are some of the best things that have worked for our family so far. Please share any of your ideas in the comments below!

Keeping Kids Safe

Be Very Deliberate About Campfires.

We have a 1, 3 and 6 year old walking around our campsites. This means that we don’t let the fire linger and we never leave it un-attended by an adult. We usually keep our fires to an hour or so of burning time and put them out completely when done.

Never Camp Adjacent To Water. 

I’m not saying we don’t camp at campground with lakes or water, we just never choose campsites that have water within a distance that our kids can easily get to. This typically means water is a significant hike to get to. Remember we have some young kids, when they are older, I don’t expect this rule to be an issue. Read: 10 Reasons You Need To Wear A Life Jacket.

Avoid Ticks and Mosquitos.

Many consider mosquitoes the most dangerous animal on earth due to their ability to spread nasty diseases. Ticks are a close number 2. Many people don’t want to expose their children to deet but you also do not want to expose them to potential diseases (or that awful itching!). Try applying permethrin or bug spray to your children’s clothes before putting them on. This will reduce your child’s exposure to any harmful chemicals. We have also used Thermacell Mosquito Repellant (full review) which keeps mosquitoes out of a 225 sq. ft. radius without applying anything to your body.

Get Your Kids Familiar With The Campsite And Set Boundaries.

P1015587One of the first things we do when arriving on a campsite is to get familiar with everything in the campground with our children and let them know where the can and cannot go. A boundary that we set, while not sounding horribly neighborly, is that our children cannot go near other campsites without a parent. This keeps them away from strangers while not bothering other campers.

Be Generous With Sunscreen.

Nothing bothers me more than seeing a child with a sunburn. With how cheap and effective sunscreen is, this is so easily avoided these days. We use the spray on sunscreen since our kids won’t hardly stand still. I pin the kid down while Kelly sprays, we leave no inch of their exposed body uncovered.

 

Have any more safety tips or ideas that I didn’t cover here? I would love to hear what you have.

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