First Aid and Camping

There’s nothing intrinsically dangerous about camping, but any outdoor holiday carries an increased risk of minor accidents, and knowing the most common types of mishaps and what to do in an emergency is always worthwhile.

Millions of families enjoy camping every year, despite the often unreliable British weather. It’s a chance to get away from the daily routine and experience a more back to basics holiday without the distractions of modern technology, and gives the whole family, especially the children, a chance to run free and explore. There’s nothing intrinsically dangerous about camping, but any outdoor holiday carries an increased risk of minor accidents, and knowing the most common types of mishaps and what to do in an emergency is always worthwhile.

Fire Risks

One of the best things about a camping holiday is the camp fire and eating freshly toasted marshmallows. Care should always be taken around naked flames, especially when children are around. If someone does get burned, take immediate action. Cool the burn under cold running water for at least 10 minutes. If the burn is serious, get someone to call for medical help. After 10 minutes, cover the burned area with cling film or a clean plastic bag and go to A&E for further help. Do not believe any of the old tales about butter, oil or even toothpaste, and don’t cover the burned area with a towel or bandage.

Slips, Trips and Falls

It’s easy to see the tripping risks in a camp site – uneven ground and guy ropes being just two. Most slips and trips will not require any sort of first aid treatment at all, but if someone falls heavily or cannot bear weight on a leg, you might have to take action. If the person who has fallen can sit up, encourage them to do so. Any severe pain could be a broken bone and will need to be seen at hospital. You don’t need an ambulance to take them to hospital, if they can get to transport with assistance. People who have tripped or fallen need to rest if they are feeling sore, and a tubigrip style bandage may help them feel more comfortable. If the symptoms persist more than a couple of days, a visit to the GP might be recommended.

Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

One of the less common, but potentially fatal accidents to be more common on camping trips is carbon monoxide poisoning. This is caused by a build-up of gas inside a tent often because the campers have used barbecues, stoves or other fires inside. The main symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning are headaches, drowsiness, dizziness and vomiting. As children’s bodies are smaller, they are more likely to experience symptoms and fall seriously ill than adults. If you suspect carbon monoxide poisoning then get the affected person into the open air straight away, even if it’s pouring with rain or they don’t want to be moved. Move any stoves or heaters outside too, or switch them off. Ventilate the tent as much as possible. Get other people who have been in the tent out too, even if they are not complaining of symptoms. Call for medical assistance as everyone will need to be checked over in hospital.

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