For safety’s sake

Go! Drive and Camp Camp Guide - - Front Page -

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.

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