One of the best activities for families to do in the summer is camping. And with the COVID-19 pandemic causing many other forms of summer entertainment and recreation to close this year, going camping is more appealing than ever before. You can remain distant from other people while still getting out of the house and creating great memories as a family.
However, there are a few key safety tips that anyone going camping needs to follow. Whether you’re a seasoned camper or you haven’t ever pitched a tent before, these tips will help ensure that your family remains safe and that you avoid a trip to the nearest urgent care center for healthcare services.
Safely Prepare Food and Drinks
Food and beverages will probably be at the top of your packing list, but you need to make sure that you pack and prepare them safely. If you consume contaminated food or water, you’ll increase your risk of developing infectious diseases caused by germs. Avoid this outcome by packing food in tight, waterproof bags or containers. Put them in an insulated cooler so that the heat doesn’t make the food go bad. Throughout your camping trip, remember to chill foods promptly so that you don’t have to worry about your snacks and meals spoiling. Be sure that you pack plenty of clean water from home as you may not be able to rely on water sources at your camping ground.
When you’re preparing food at your campsite, always separate raw foods from cooked foods. Cook any raw food to the proper temperature so that you don’t get sick from it. Remember to wash your hands and surfaces you’re cooking on frequently to keep everything sanitized. If there is no water available for washing, use hand sanitizer.
Prevent Illnesses from Extreme Temperatures
During the summer, overheating will be your primary concern when it comes to temperature-related illnesses. You can prevent heat-related illnesses, such as heat exhaustion and heat stroke, by drinking plenty of alcohol-free and sugar-free fluids. Clean water is the best to drink, as it will keep your body hydrated and happy. Don’t wait until you’re thirsty to drink, as dehydration can set in before thirst even comes. If you’re doing physical activity like hiking or biking, be sure to rest often in shady areas and wear layers of lightweight, light-colored clothing. Finding quick healthcare services for heat-related illnesses while you’re out camping can be difficult, so make sure you do everything you can to protect yourself and your family from too much sun.
Before you set off on your camping adventure, make sure that everyone in your party is up-to-date on the recommended vaccines. Vaccinations help protect against certain conditions and diseases while camping, particularly the ones that are transmitted through insects and wildlife. Depending on your medical history, destination, and other factors, it’s likely that you’ll need vaccinations for tetanus, pertussis (whooping cough), meningitis, and hepatitis A. Visit one of the 7,357 urgent care centers in the United States to speak with a healthcare professional about what vaccinations they recommend. Remember to call them ahead of your visit so that you’re aware of any COVID-19 guidelines they have put in place for visitors.
Protect Against Bug Bites
Even if you have the vaccinations you need to safely go camping, you should take all of the precautions you can to avoid bug bites. Ticks, mosquitoes, and other insects can cause certain diseases that can’t be cured or prevented by vaccines. Fight bug bites by applying insect repellant that contains DEET to exposed skin. Wear long sleeves and pants, if the weather allows, to help prevent ticks from latching on. Wearing light-colored clothing can also help by allowing you to spot ticks on you more easily. Check for ticks every day and remove them promptly if you spot them.
Avoid Wild Animals
Part of the allure of camping is that you may be able to spot some local wildlife. However, it is important that you don’t touch, feed, or get near wild animals. Some animals carry diseases that are dangerous to people and others may harm you if they feel they need to protect themselves. If you don’t approach them, they are much less likely to feel threatened by your presence. Simply watch wild animals from a safe distance to observe them in their natural surroundings.
At your campsite, remember to keep food stored in sealed containers and out of reach of wild animals. Many animals that live near campgrounds know that campers bring tasty treats and will invite themselves to take some if they can sniff out the food and find it. If you’ve brought family pets on your camping trip, be sure that they are vaccinated and that you keep a close eye on them. Any interaction between them and wildlife can be dangerous. Check them for ticks every day, remove any that you find, and ensure that they have plenty of water, food, and shelter.
If you have any doubts about the precautions you should take when you go camping, check with healthcare services in your area to see what safety tips they recommend. You should also know where the nearest healthcare facility is to your campground in case you do need to seek medical attention during your trip. By preparing in these ways, you can better ensure that your family has a safe and enjoyable camping trip this summer.