For safety’s sake
Follow these pointers to keep your loved ones safe in a campsite
We all go camping to escape the trials and tribulations of the daily grind and to simply savour a few days with our loved ones and experience some of the most beautiful parts of our country.
And yes, even though you are chuffed with your new offroad-caravan, you should realise that it’s not your most precious possession.
That honour (we hope) belongs to your family. But how do you protect them – especially your children – when you go camping? We asked our readers, certain holiday resorts and other experts for tips and they gave us these top ten guidelines to keep your loved ones and kids safe and out of trouble.
1 BE BACK AT THE CARAVAN BY THE TIME IT GETS DARK
This rule shouldn’t be negotiable. It’s great to know that your kids are enjoying their holiday in a protected environment, but by the time the sun sets, everyone needs to check in at base camp.
2 WHERE DO DANGERS LURK?
Take a stroll through the campsite and look for possible dangers such as unsafe power points, snakes, scorpions, spiders and other nasties. Make your children aware of these dangers. If there’s something the resort management need to fix, inform them of it as soon as possible.
3 THE RED CROSS
Never go camping without a basic first-aid kit. This is so obvious that we shouldn’t have to mention it. Double check that none of the pills, ointments and other meds have expired.
4 KEEP THEM BUSY
The devil finds work for idle hands and one of the best ways to keep your kids out of trouble is to ensure that they never become bored. Take things like board games and books along for those days when the weather isn’t playing along.
5 THE MORE, THE BETTER
When possible, camp in a group with friends and family. This makes it easier to keep an eye on children. But be wary of shared responsibili-
When you hit the road to go camping, safety isn’t on the forefront of your mind. But just like everywhere else, campsites may be riddled with danger – from insects to gas canisters, the sun and the swimming pool. Be informed and be prepared!
ties and don’t assume that someone else is looking after your kids. When you’re unable to look after them, ask someone directly to do so.
6 SAVVY SWIMMING
You don’t need to be told that small children should never be left unattended near a swimming pool. And don’t expect older children to look after the little ones either. Kids will be kids and they’re easily distracted. If yours can’t swim yet, they’re not allowed to go to the pool without adult supervision. Period.
7 DRAW THE LINE
Draw an imaginary boundary line around your campsite and show your kids exactly where they aren’t allowed to go without your permission, or without you. This way, you motivate them not to wander out of sight or leave the resort.
8 KEEP THE NUMBERS CLOSE
Be sure to have the phone numbers for the local police, emergency services and resort management at hand. You don’t want to scramble for them in case of an emergency. Having pertinent details close at hand can save valuable time.
9 SAFE IN THE SUN
Don’t underestimate the African sun. Protect your children’s skin with sunscreen and make sure that they wear hats. Sunstroke is bad enough but a child with sunburnt skin and running a fever is doubly problematic.
10 TALK TO ME
Children who are old enough to use a phone should have a cellphone with them at all times, so that they can call in case of an emergency. Make sure they have airtime and that their phone’s battery is loaded. If they’re not old enough to use a cellphone, they should rather not go where you can’t keep a watchful eye them.
go! Drive & Camp says Nobody wants a bunch of rules and regulations when they go camping, but if you can adhere to these basic measures, you’ll have more peace of mind about the safety of your kids.