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a family having fun around a campfire

Have Fun Around The Campfire: Safety For Kids

When most people think of summer, they think of camping. Camping is a great way to spend time outdoors and enjoy the natural world.

It can also be a fun and affordable way to travel. However, there are some things you need to know before hitting the open road and pitching a tent. a family having fun around a campfire

Follow these campfire safety tips for kids and everyone in your family will have a safe, enjoyable trip:

1. Explain the basics of campfire safety - what to do and what not to do.

Campfires make everything more fun. They provide light, warmth, and the perfect place to toast marshmallows or roast hotdogs!

However, campfire safety should always be explained to kids before they get started.

To start with, tell them that campfires are never completely safe - keeping a safe distance between themselves and the fire is an absolute rule.

Sitting too close to the fire is dangerous for several reasons. It can cause severe burns if kids fall into or touch the campfire. Even if they don't touch it, sitting too close will make them feel hotter than they really are and this could lead to dehydration.

2. Teach sorting safety before building a campfire.

The first step in safety is making sure your firewood has been properly sorted by size (i.e., very small pieces, slightly larger pieces, etc.).

It's also not safe to burn painted or treated wood as these contain harmful chemicals which may give off poisonous fumes when burned.

Make sure you build your fire away from overhanging branches so that sparks cannot set anything on fire nearby.

Avoid using lighter fluid to start your fire because it can ignite too quickly and cause severe burns if kids are not careful.

3. Show kids how to build a safe and successful campfire.

When building a campfire, kids need to use the right size firewood - split pieces of wood around two inches in diameter are best because they will burn longer and give off more heat.

Have them place the largest logs at the base of the campfire with smaller ones stacked on top so that they are not directly touching each other.

Arrange tinder, kindling, and fuel in an upside-down "teepee" shape over the larger logs.

Finally, light the fire using matches or a lighter (not flammable objects like gasoline).

Kids should then stand back while it burns - do not try putting out a big fire; instead spray it with water if necessary before letting it die out naturally.

4. Keep everyone safe while the campfire is burning

If you use lighter fluid, make sure kids don't try to re-light it when you put it down (it's best to wait until it has burned out completely before putting the cap back on).

You should never leave a campfire unattended - even for a minute! If someone needs to go inside for any reason, ask another adult to watch the fire for them.

5. Teach them how to properly extinguish their campfire PROPERLY

The best way to extinguish a campfire is by drowning it with water - you can either use a bucket or hose, depending on how close the fire is to your campsite.

Make sure all embers are wet and then stir them around until they are extinguished.

You may also want to cover the ashes with dirt or sand to make sure they don't start a fire later on.

Once the fire is out, make sure everyone washes their hands with soap and water to remove any chemicals or residue from the lighter fluid.

Use a bucket of water to douse the ashes completely.

And always teach kids to never throw sand on an active campfire - this puts out the fire by smothering it, doesn't actually put it out completely!

6. Teach them about fire prevention - what to do if their clothes catch on fire, for example.

Although fire prevention is not strictly part of campfire safety, it's important to teach kids how to act in case their clothes catch on fire.

If this happens, they should stop what they're doing immediately and try their best to smother the flames with something heavy - like a jacket or blanket.

You can also recommend that they lay themselves down flat once this has happened so the flames are further away from them.

Make sure you first instruct kids not to run around because moving fast will only fan the flames and make it harder for them to put out.

Teach your child/children about other hazards too, such as electrical fires (never re-plug anything into outlets after use), propane cookers (follow all safety precautions), etc.

7. Teach them how to cook over a campfire safely.

Campfires are usually for cooking, so it's important to teach kids how to do this safely.

Make sure all food is pre-cooked before placing it in the fire, and put any raw meats on skewers in order to prevent them from falling into the flames.

Also, never allow children/teens to handle knives or forks while preparing or eating their food - they should wait until after everything has been cooked.

8. Provide a few easy recipes for s'mores that kids can make themselves.

Although s'mores are not strictly part of campfire safety, they may be one of the most popular foods cooked over an open flame.

They're also relatively easy to make. All you need is marshmallows, graham crackers, and chocolate bars (although there are other options available - see below).

You can even stack them together in different ways to vary the taste. Here are a few basic recipes kids can experiment with:

The S'more Sandwich:

  • Place two pieces of chopped up chocolate bar on top of two graham crackers and top with a whole marshmallow.
  • Heat using sticks until the chocolate has melted all over everything.

The More S'more:

  • Put three marshmallows inside a s'mores sandwich; then heat until melted.

The S'more Popsicle:

  • Place a marshmallow on the end of a stick and roast over the campfire; once it's softened, roll it in chocolate chips and eat right away.

The Toasted Blob:

  • Toast a marshmallow over a low-medium flame for about five minutes or so, then put one spoonful of peanut butter on top, followed by another blob of toasted marshmallow on top of that.
  • It'll be hot at first but you can eat it immediately as long as everything has been pre-made before cooking.

9. Provide some fun activities that can be done around the campfire safely.

Fire safety isn't just about camping - it can include campfires, bonfires, etc. Some popular safe activities that involve fire include:

Campfire Sing-Alongs: use a karaoke machine or simply sing around the fire with friends and family. Have any guests lead the group through all their favorite songs. Or you could use an old cassette tape recorder (which is how I used to practice for talent shows).

Lighting Candles at Night: make sure everyone uses candle holders (with flat bottoms) especially designed to be flame-resistant; also place them far away from anything flammable like tents or pieces of furniture - let your imagination run wild!

Telling Stories Around The Fire: tell ghost stories, scary stories, campfire stories, etc. See if anyone knows any jokes you can tell around the fire to lighten up the mood a bit.

10. Remind parents to always stay close by when their kids are near a campfire

It's important that children never be left alone in case something happens, but there are additional dangers around open flames.

Make sure no one strays on the other side of the campfire or ever wanders off into nearby brush because it could easily catch fire - especially if you have any guest with out-of-control matches on your hands!

Also teach kids to remain calm in case there is a forest fire nearby, and that running isn't an option due to how quickly fires spread over dry vegetation.

Wrapping Up:

Campfires are a great opportunity to bond with friends and family while cooking food, telling stories, singing songs - the possibilities for fun around an open flame are endless.

The key is always safety; make sure children don't stray too far from camp or into nearby brush; teach them how to stay calm in case of forest fire and never leave kids alone near a campfire.

Remember that fires can spread quickly over dry vegetation so it's important your guests know not to run if there is one nearby!

With these simple tips on keeping everyone safe around the campfire (or other type), you'll be ready for any adventure ahead.

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