There are many family vacations but camping trips can be an affordable choice and provide a host of learning experiences and memories. There's nothing like exploring the flora and fauna to teach children about the outdoors. But marshmallows and hotdogs on sticks poking into the campfire with all singing silly songs together is where most problems occur. Children and adults are fascinated by the campfire but with a little safety and prevention, campfire burns can be avoided.
Cliff Burningham, public information officer for the Unified Fire Authority, said that the No. 1 prevention measure is supervision. Here are five more tips for avoiding an unpleasant memory from your campfire experience:
1. Teach safety before you light the fire. It's important for children of all ages to know basic campfire safety. Although supervision is key, drawing a circle around the planned fire and explaining the safety zone to children to keep behind is key.
2. Make sure you have the basics covered means for containing the fire and putting it out in case of an emergency. Simply rocks in a circle and having a bucket of water available is a good practice.
3. Keep fires manageable. The National Forest Service says never use logs bigger than your fire pit. Keep twigs and branches inside the pit as well.
4. Keep surroundings safe. Make sure that twigs and branches or other flammable items are kept outside of the 5 foot radius of the fire pit. Sparks can fly up and ignite dry brush quickly.
5. Put the fire out. When it's time to leave, make sure you put the fire out completely. Smoldering logs can burn up to 24 hours. Use water when possible to wet the space and surroundings.
If someone happens to get burned during the experience, treat them with first aid as follows...
1. Cool the burn. Pouring water on the skin can help stop the burn from burning but be sure to use room temperature water ( not cold ).
2. Remove burned clothing. You don't want burning clothing to continue to burn the skin. Carefully remove burned clothing unless it's attached to the wound. Cool the clothing with water and keep the wound covered with fresh, clean topping (gauze) if possible.
3. Seek medical attention. Any blistering or open flesh wound should be attended to by a physician. Second and third degree burns can dehydrate a person, but they may be in shock and water may make them vomit. Proceed with caution on giving fluids.
Make your campfire safe by keeping children and adults from a safe distance to the fire. Preventing burns is easier than treating them.