The Best Kind of Camping Trip is a Safe One

June 10, 2009

Exploring nature with the family is a perfect way to take advantage of the warm weather in the coming months. Anne Brayer, M.D., director of the Injury Free Coalition for Kids, based at Golisano Children’s Hospital at University of Rochester Medical Center (URMC), and pediatrician of Emergency Medicine at URMC, reminds families to keep safety in mind with celebrating the outdoors.

Bring along the following items:

  • First aid kit and medications
  • Flashlight and batteries to improve visibility at night
  • Insect repellent containing DEET to be applied on clothes and exposed skin
  • Permathin insect repellent – apply to clothes to keep tick away and check for them daily
  • Food
    • Pack foods in waterproof, tight containers and store them in a cooler.
    • Keep cooked and raw foods separated.
  • Antibacterial hand wipes or alcohol-based hand sanitizer

Be sure to wear:

  • Long sleeves, pants, and other light-colored clothing, which can help prevent and spot ticks more easily.
  • To avoid carbon monoxide poisoning, bring extra blankets and heavy clothes rather than relying on fuel-burning devices that supply heat.
  • Bring sturdy, closed shoes for hiking.

Engage in safe outdoor activities:

  • Watch kids closely during safe physical activities like swimming and hiking.
  • Teach kids how to identify poison ivy, poison oak and sumac.
  • Fire safety
    • Use a campfire pit away from branches.
    • Never leave a campfire unattended.
    • Keep children from running or roughhousing around a fire.

In case of an emergency:

  • Always know who to contact at the camp.

For more information on camping safety tips, visit To learn more about Injury Free Coalition, visit

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