GONE CAMPING 4 Things to Keep in Mind on Your Next Family Camping Trip
While summer is winding down, families are looking to go on a few end- of-season adventures, camping trips included. Before you head out into the wilderness with your family, it’s important to be prepared. In fact, “be prepared” is the best piece of advice when it comes to braving the great outdoors. But what does being prepared entail? Here are four key tips. Have a first-aid kit nearby. A good rule of thumb is to keep one in your car at all times. You never know when you’ll need it. Kids may get a few bumps and scrapes while out hiking, or you might encounter poisonous plants, such as poison ivy or poison oak. Having quick access to cold water, soap, antiseptics (hydrogen peroxide or rubbing alcohol), and calamine lotion or hydrocortisone cream can keep infections at bay. TEACH FIRE SAFETY. When you build a fire, especially with kids, teach them about fire safety. This includes building the fire itself. Pick a spot away from brush and overhanging branches and create a pit surrounded by rocks. Before lighting a fire, have a bucket of water and a shovel nearby so you can quickly extinguish it when ready. Finally, remember to only build a fire as big as you need. A larger fire can be difficult to manage and keep under control. KEEP AN EYE ON THE SKY. Weather can change at a moment’s notice, and sometimes, it doesn’t give notice at all. Keep a close eye on
the sky and monitor the weather on a radio. If a storm appears, seek shelter immediately and stay out of low-lying areas. When you’re in mountainous or hilly terrain, a little rain is all it takes for flash floods to occur. If you’re in a ravine when it starts raining, get out immediately. ALWAYS STICK TOGETHER. It’s a good idea to hike with a buddy and keep a whistle around your neck or in your pack. You never know what you might encounter or when you’ll need help. Hiking with kids is also a great time to teach them to recognize landmarks and be aware of their surroundings. If you have a digital camera or smartphone, show kids how to create a trail of digital breadcrumbs or pictures to help them find their way back to camp.
YOU’REGETTINGVERY SLEEPY ... Establishing a Bedtime Routine for the School Year
Between vacations, bonfires, and sporting tournaments, your children’s sleep schedule probablywent on breakwhen they did this summer. With school fast approaching, it’s vital to get your kids back on a proper sleep schedule. In fact, according to the National Sleep Foundation, getting enough sleep can significantly improve a child’s growth and cognitive function.
cool, and quiet. This means sunlight shouldn’t sneak into the room, and the home should be a quiet zone after bedtime. No one wants to sleep while everyone else is having fun, so it’s important that everyone in the home is quiet at bedtime. JUST RELAX This is a rule your family should follow year- round, not just when you want to reestablish a routine. At a certain time each night, begin the nightly wind-down. For example, at 8 p.m. shut off your screens, put on pajamas, and engage in a relaxing activity, like reading a book or doing some yoga. Signaling to your body and your family that it’s time for bed will help your kiddos, and you, fall asleep at an appropriate time.
But getting a restful night’s sleep is easier said than donewhen kids have had almost complete freedom for threemonths. Try these tips to get your kids snoozing through August and prepared for school.
START EARLY AND GO SLOWLY When practicing this tip, think of the old adage: “It takes 21 days to break a habit.”If your kids have been going to bed late this summer, set a time when they must go to bed, but don’t make it too far off the time they have been regularly hitting the hay. If they shuffle off to bed around 10 p.m., push their bedtime to 9:45 p.m., and then push it back to 9:30 p.m. one week later. Slowly work
your way back to an appropriate time, and bedtime will be easier when school starts.
MAKE IT EASY Though the days may be getting shorter, it’s still relatively light out at night, making it nearly impossible for your kids to doze off when they should. Sleep experts recommend creating a sleeping space that mimics a cave: dark,
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