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How to Keep Camping Safe and Healthy for Toddlers

Camping with your family is a great experience, but spending time outdoors with toddlers can be dangerous if you aren’t careful. While toddlers are sturdier than they sometimes appear, they are still very delicate in many ways. Don’t feel cooped up in the house just because your baby isn’t grown yet, however. Here are a few ways that you can keep your toddler safe during a much-needed family trip to the great outdoors.

Protect Against Pests

While most campgrounds are relatively safe, mosquitos and other insects can carry diseases that your toddler’s immune system isn’t ready to fight off on its own yet. You should plan on packing some pest control products like citronella candles and mosquito nets to help keep your child covered while they’re strapped in a stroller and you can’t help them swat the pests away. Be sure, as well, to find all-natural bug sprays that are branded as safe for small children and toddlers if you decide to use them, as many are harmful if ingested (and you know your kid is going to put their hand in their mouth a lot.)

Pack a First Aid Kit

Packing a first aid kit specifically for your toddler is also an important step to prepare for the inevitable. Scrapes and bruises are going to happen no matter where you are as your child is in the stage of learning how to walk on their own two feet, and you want to be sure that you can take care of those issues right away. The first aid kit should contain a pain reliever for children, bandages, saline spray, calamine lotion, antibacterial cream, and some type of allergy medicine. As your child is exposed to new things out in nature, you may discover allergies that you didn’t know they had, and you’ll want to be prepared to care for that as well as any scrapes from tumbles.

Make a Safe Play Area

Even if you try to keep an eye on your child at all times, there may come a point when you need a short break. Creating a safe area for them to play in will reduce their risk of an accident and make your trip much more enjoyable. That is why you might want to invest in a pop-up gazebo that has multiple walls or some type of camper. You should also consider bringing a folding plastic fence that can quickly be set up and taken down. Doing this can help keep your toddler in a single, manageable space while you take a moment to breathe in the fresh air. Never leave your child unattended, however. If you’re planning on going hiking, check ahead online to make sure the trail is stroller friendly, or at least short and gentle enough for small children.

Make Sure They Sleep

Toddlers need as much as 14 hours of sleep per day, and chances are that a fair amount of those hours are going to come around at times that are inconvenient for you. While it may seem like a toddler can fall asleep literally anywhere, their sleep won’t be deep enough if they can’t get it in a comfortable and quiet environment. Sometimes a large tent can suit this need, but in places with extreme or turbulent climates, a hard floor camper may work better to give them the sheltered sleep they need. Campers like these can also work well as changing stations and give you and your toddler a quiet place to sit down and take a break from dirt floors when the child is fussing or anxious.

When it comes to your toddler’s health and safety, a little bit of planning can make a big difference. While you may feel like you’re stuck in the house until your child is heading out to kindergarten, there are ways to carry the safety and conveniences of home in sufficient amounts to meet your child’s needs while out on a wilderness vacation. These few tips and tricks will allow you and your family to avoid a wide variety of problems during your next family camping trip.

Tim Esterdahl

Tim Esterdahl is the editor of IFCS blog. He is a married father of three and enjoys golf in his spare time.
Tim Esterdahl

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The Food Research and Action Center (FRAC) has done extensive research on the long-term effects of childhood hunger. Children are our main demographic of clients, so we work tirelessly to get their families the resources that they need to lead healthy and productive lives for generations to come. When you assist IFCS' mission to alleviate hunger, your support has a ripple effect that affects the future of our community. Take a moment to make an impact - #onecanfeed
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