June 13, 2010

Common Campout Alements and ways to fix them

While out in the wilderness we don't really think about our kids getting hurt or sick.  It can happen, and we need to be prepared.  Before you go on your camp out pack a first aid kit with alcohol, anti itch cream, benedryl, band-aides, gauze, and an epi pen if you have one prescribed to you.  Here are some of the common problems our kids may have and simple ways to fix them. 

Poison Ivy:  Exploring is part of the fun of a camp out.  But what if the kids are out exploring and get into the bushes and come back extremely itchy with a red rash?  You will need to get them into a cold shower, not hot.  Rinse their skin the best you can and use alcohol to help disolve the oils.  Once rinsed, a hot shower can be taken and it will help the itching.  Once out of the campsite go see a doctor for some Sumactin.  The best thing for poison ivy is prevention!  So show your kids a picture of the plant and warn them to avoid it.  Walk the perimeter of your camp site upon arrival and check the foliage for poison ivy. 

Scrapes and Lacerations:  Kids a clumsy creatures, they are always tripping and falling.  Your camp site isn't going to have soft carpet like your home so there is likely going to be a few scrapes to deal with.  So don't forget to pack some band-aides.  Wash the scrape clean, removing all the dirt and rock.  Use some alcohol to clean it good.  Put a band-aide over the scrape.  If its a larger cut use a little bit of gauze under the band-aide and place the band-aide tight to help stop the bleeding and pull the skin together. 

Sun burns:  It's summer, so burns happen.  Use some aloe lotion after a burn to cool the skin.  Again, prevention is the best medicine.  Don't forget to pack sunscreen and for your easy to burn kids, take hats and keep them covered. 

Hyperthermia:  (Over heated)  There are a few types of hyperthermia- the worst of which is heat stroke.  Heat exhaustion is a mild form of hyperthemia which results from prolonged exposure to high temperatures.  Symptoms are paleness, sweating, weakness, tiredness, headache, and nausea or vomiting.  It is important to know these symptoms before they worsen because it could progress to a heat stroke which is a medical emergency.  If you see these symptoms in your kids, get them somewhere cool, give them cold fluids water or electrolytes replacing fluids, give them a cool bath and wearing light weight clothing.  Heat stroke usually shows signs of neurological changes such as confusion and aggressive behaviors.  Infants have immature body temperature regulation and are particularly susceptible to heat stroke, so don't bundle them or over dress them in the summer.  A good way to know their temperature comfort is by your own.  Dress them as you dress yourself and they will be comfortable.  If you see signs of heat stroke you should take them to the emergency room. 

Bug Bites:  Mosquitoes are abundant in the summertime.  Bites from non-poisonous bugs are just a nuisance.  Itchy bumps are annoying and can be treated with anti itch cream.  Poisonous bites can cause flu like symptoms and cause redness and swelling.  These need to be treated by a doctor.  Bee and wasp stings can be scary for moms.  The first thing you should do is to remove the stinger.  Once the entire stinger is removed cover with ice and give some benedryl to decrease any allergic reaction your child may have.  If your child is allergic a reaction will occur in as little a 15 minutes up to one hour.  Non allergic reactions include pain, itchiness, and a large pale bump at the sting site.  If an allergic reaction occurs your child will start having difficulty breathing and will need epi.  You will need to go to the emergency room right away.  If you know in advance your child is allergic to bees, carry the epi pen with you at all times on your camp out. 


  1. Thanks for the reminders. If it's at all nice out, we are outside.

  2. We love camping and safety is always on our minds when we go outdoors. Don't forget life jackets for the little ones near water too!



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