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Healthy You

8 Tips for Camping Safety

Friday, June 11, 2021 9:17 AM

By: Lauren McRae

Ah, the great outdoors! Fresh air, brilliant sunshine and long days have us thinking of a million ways to maximize our outdoor time during the short Chicago summers. With many opportunities to camp nearby, it’s a great way to get the family engaged and outside.

Camping Safety

Before packing up to head out, Diana Maniev, MD, Pediatrician at NorthShore, shares some quick tips to keep you safe and healthy during your camping trip:

  1. Use sunglasses to protect your eyes from the sun. Exposure to too much sun can damage the eyes and the skin around the eyes, including the eyelids. It is important to wear sunglasses that offer 99-100% of UV-A and UV-B protection, and that cover the eyes and all their surrounding structures.
  2. Protect your skin against the sun. Skin should be protected against the sun by everyone, not only those with sensitive skin. Wear cool, comfortable, lightweight clothing that cover the body and a wide-brimmed hat. Keep children less than 6 months away from direct sunlight. Use sunscreen with SPF 15 or higher that say “broad spectrum” or “UVA/UVB protection” on the label, and remember to re-apply as indicated on the package.
  3. Take additional steps to protect against bug bites. Wear lighweight, long-sleeve shirt, long pants, socks and closed shoes. Avoid wearing bright-colored clothes as it may attract insects. Make sure to use repellants containing DEET.
  4. Watch out for poisonous plants. If known exposure occurs with the skin, remove contaminated clothing and gently wash the skin with mild soap and water as soon as possible. Do not scrub as it can worsen the skin irritation.
  5. Avoid ankle sprains when hiking or walking along paths. Perform stretches prior to any activity and wear supportive and proper footwear.
  6. Hydrate properly. Drink plenty of fluids and stay hydrated, even if you don’t feel thirsty, especially during physical activity. Small frequent sips of fluid are the best. Drink more fluids if urine is not pale or clear.
  7. Stay safe during times of extreme heat. Extreme heat can make one sick in many ways. Wear lightweight, loose-fitting clothes and stay hydrated. Limit outdoor activity to when it’s coolest, during the morning or evening hours. Find shaded areas and plan for extra rest time.
  8. Brush up on your first aid and have a pre-made first aid kit available.

While it is important to remember safety first, don’t forget to have fun!