How to enjoy the Canadian outdoors

Hiking is a popular Canadian outdoor activityA lot of Canadians enjoy outdoor activities from hiking or biking to camping and so much more that our beautiful country offers. While enjoying, however, keep in mind some factors to be aware of, such as sun, bugs and accidents, which can be more challenging to handle outside.

Prevention is key, and planning properly for outdoor adventures can minimize risks to fully enjoy our country's nature!

Here are some safety tips to enjoy your trip outdoors: 
  • Stay safe in hot weather: protect your skin by applying sun protection factor (SPF) and reapply regularly; drink plenty of cool fluids; and know the humidex rating. Learn more about heat-related emergencies to prevent them from happening to you or your loved ones.
  • Prevent bug bites: in Canada, mosquitos can carry West Nile virus and ticks can cause Lyme disease so keep those bugs at bay by packing insect repellent, dressing in long-sleeved tops and pants and having first aid training to treat bites.
  • Stay safe around water: always wear a properly-fitting lifejacket and never leave children unsupervised. An adult who can swim should actively watch children around the water at all times – if you’re on your phone, you’re not watching them. Read more tips on keeping your backyard pool safe and other water safety tips.
  • Stay safe on water: when boating, there are legal requirements to keep you safe. Along with always wearing a lifejacket and obtaining your Pleasure Craft Operator Card, you are required by law to carry marine safety equipment. Check here to see what you should always have with you at a bare minimum.
  • Playing safely with fire: roasting marshmallows over a fire is almost a camping necessity but be cautious with fires. Place a stone barrier around campfires or bonfires to ensure everyone stays a safe distance away and ensure all embers are out before leaving the site.
  • Be bike safe: riding a bicycle is a fun summer activity for the whole family, offering exercise as well as a way for children to learn responsibility. Parents and caregivers should stress safety as when encouraging bicycling as speed, inexperience and not wearing protective gear are among leading causes of cycling injuries for children. Read our tips to encourage bike safety.Take precautions when outdoors as amenities are not as close by.
  • Be prepared for injury: when you’re outside, first aid may be needed for cuts, scrapes and bites so keep a first aid kit in your car. See what a first aid kit contains and ensure you have it handy.
  • Get the app for that: download the Red Cross first aid app to ensure essential first aid information is at your fingertips. There’s no data use when accessing the app - that means it can be used even when you have no reception.
  • Know where to go: some cottages and campsites are located in more remote areas where it may take emergency medical services (EMS) longer to respond. Familiarize yourself with the closest medical facility, hospital and pharmacy wherever you may be staying or visiting.
Learn even more about outdoor safety with our Wilderness & Remote First Aid course, and Red Cross swim lessons for the whole family will provide lifelong knowledge and skills so find a class near you.

Stay safe this summer and have fun out there!

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