Aug07

Campfire safety: Tips for preventing injuries

Making s'mores, singing songs, and telling ghost stories under the stars … no summer is complete without at least one campfire.

Having a campfire is one of the most fun and popular activities during the summer — but it can also be one of the most dangerous. From forest fires to getting burned, there are a lot of ways a simple campfire can go wrong. Because of this, it's important to know how to be safe when having a campfire and what to do if you get injured.

Block the fire in: If you're using a preexisting fire pit, there's a good chance a circle of rocks or bricks is already there to keep the fire contained. But if not, it's essential to build some type of barrier. Putting rocks or brick in a circle around the fire will prevent it from spreading to the surrounding areas. Remember that fires can grow quickly and should always be contained as much as possible.

Dress appropriately: While you may not think about the actual fire when deciding what to wear to a campfire, material can make a big difference if a stray ember makes its way to your clothing. Flammable fabrics such as nylon should be kept away from the fire whenever possible. This includes clothing, accessories and camping gear. Wearing nonflammable clothing will reduce the risk of injuries from burns.

Treat burns quickly: Unfortunately, accidents aren't always avoidable. This is why it's important to know where the closest urgent care clinics are. If someone does get burned, it's important to seek medical attention quickly. Luckily, 85 percent of urgent care clinics are open seven days a week, so you'll be able to find medical treatment at any time.

If left untreated, burns can blister and become infected. If a burn goes through many layers of skin, has different color splotches, or is on a sensitive area of the body, always seek medical treatment immediately. Quick treatment is key to ensuring the burn doesn't scar or become infected.

Campfires are a staple of any summer adventure. But one little mishap can lead to someone getting injured. So if you're having a campfire, always be smart and ensure everyone is safe while having a good time.

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