Yesterday we covered some general camping safety rules to keep your camping trips fun and happy on your family adventures in the great outdoors. Today we’ll dive into rules for campfire safety that can prevent accidents from happening around campfires and bonfires.
Once you set up camp, and before you light a fire, gather up the kids and go over some rules of the fire. It’s also important to do this if you attend any events where outdoor fires or bonfires may be burning before you let the kids roam free.
This rule doesn’t just apply to the fire. It applies to anything around the fire as well. Show them the metal parts of the chairs they may be sitting on later and let them know those areas can get hot.
Normally there is dirt around most areas where campfires or bonfires are. Show them a safe distance that they need to stay from the fire. You can even draw a perimeter in the dirt with a stick or your foot if needed. When roasting marshmallows or food, they may need to be closer and should be under the direct supervision of an adult.
Kids love to play with fire. Throwing things in and poking at it generally draws the attention of their curious minds. This is a dangerous habit to start and can cause injuries. Do not let them throw objects or poke at a fire.
They should also be told not to play around the fire. It’s easy to lose track of how close you are to fire if they are chasing one another around or horsing around near the fire.
Tell them and show them what to do in the event they ever catch on fire. Teach them the stop, drop, and roll rule and show them how it’s done. You should also keep a bucket of water and a shovel near your fire. Make sure everyone knows where it is in the event of an emergency.
Make sure kids know that their shoes need to remain on at all times while outdoors until they get into the tent. Aside from other dangerous objects that could be on the ground, embers from the fire can easily burn them.
One last rule, which actually happened to me at one time and was extremely painful. Make sure they know to first, never leave the tent without a flashlight. Campfires often sit low to the ground making them easy tripping hazards. If your child trips and falls into coals that may still be hot, you’ll likely be headed to the emergency room.
They should also be taught to NEVER assume the fire is not hot. Even the next day and even if you’ve poured water on your fire, there can still be remaining hot coals for hours after it’s extinguished – even if they cannot see it.