Safe Kids Kansas

Preventing Accidental Injury.

June 27, 2011

KDHE Office of Communications, 785-296-0461

Families Must Make Safety a Priority While Camping and Hiking

Safe Kids Kansas offers families important outdoor safety tips

Topeka, Kan.  - Sleeping bag? Check. Hiking boots? Check. Safety guidelines? A must! While the preparations for a family camping or hiking trip usually include a review of the necessary gear, parents should also review safety guidelines with their children, paying special attention to potential hazards specific to camping, hiking, outdoor recreation, water and falls.

“Going camping or hiking can be wonderful activities for parents to do with their children, but it is essential to remember key safety guidelines as you’ll be leaving the daily environment your kids are used to,” says Cherie Sage, State Director for Safe Kids Kansas. “A campfire is a serious responsibility because it’s the only situation where a family is purposely starting a fire outdoors and a long way from a pressurized water supply or the nearest fire engine.”

Campfires, portable stoves, heaters and fuel-burning lanterns – in addition to the danger of starting an uncontrolled brush fire – all produce carbon monoxide (CO), a colorless and odorless gas that can poison a child very quickly. “About 30 campers each year die of CO poisoning in the U.S.,” says Sage. “If someone near a campfire or portable stove seems drowsy, disoriented or sick, move that person away from the fire immediately to get some fresh air.”

Safe Kids Kansas recommends these safety guidelines around campfires and portable heating devices:

Also keep these guidelines in mind while camping and hiking:

For more information about outdoor recreation safety, call 785-296-1223 or visit
Safe Kids Kansas, Inc. is a nonprofit Coalition of over 70 statewide organizations and businesses dedicated to preventing accidental injuries to Kansas children ages 0-14. Local coalitions and chapters cover Allen, Anderson, Atchison, Butler, Clay, Coffey, Dickinson, Doniphan, Douglas, Elk, Ellis, Finney, Geary, Harvey, Jackson, Jefferson, Johnson, Kiowa, Labette, Leavenworth, Marion, Marshall, McPherson, Mitchell, Montgomery, Pottawatomie, Riley, Saline, Sedgwick, Shawnee, Smith, Sumner, and Wilson counties, as well as the city of Emporia and the Metro Kansas City Area (Wyandotte county and several Missouri counties.) Safe Kids Kansas a member of Safe Kids Worldwide, a global network of organizations whose mission is to prevent accidental childhood injury. The lead agency for Safe Kids Kansas is the Kansas Department of Health and Environment.

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