Most Canadians celebrate Canada Day by lighting fireworks, heading to the cottage or country’s capital, or sharing a beer among friends. There are lots of ways to enjoy the holiday with loved ones, but before you crack open that beer or fire rockets off into the sky, make sure you read over our Canada Day safety tips.
1. Money Safety
Divide money up between you and your travel partner. If someone steals it or it gets lost, you’ll still have some extra cash as back up. To avoid fraud, don’t allow vendors to charge your credit card with a manual machine or by writing your credit card information down. If you can’t make a transaction without putting your credit card in the machine, don’t give it away. Fanny packs are a good way to store your money safely and hands-free. It’s better to look silly than to be broke.
When travelling with children heading into a campsite, crowded festival, or firework celebration, it’s a good idea to have a meeting spot in the case that anyone gets lost, and even use walkie talkies and decide on a station without traffic. Take note of what each child is wearing before going into crowds, and even consider wearing bright colours to be noticed. Having a plan of action if someone gets lost can save time and stress for the whole family.
You’ll need insurance for medical assistance as soon as you leave the province. Just because you’re still in Canada, it doesn’t mean you are covered. In the event of an injury, you may still need to pay the cost different between your home province’s insurance (i.e. OHIP), and the province you are visiting without out-of-province medical insurance.
Driving on holidays can be stressful. Use public transportation to get you to your destination and don’t worry about the traffic or parking hassles. The PRESTO Card makes it easy to travel between Go Trains, buses, and subway stops. Remember to have a designated driver who is not drinking. It is also a good idea not to be the sole driver for a long road trip – fatigue can kick in and have you sidetracked from the road. To stay awake, we’ve come up with a fun road trip playlist. Drive safe, and watch for moose!
If you’re lighting fireworks at home, make sure an adult over 18 years old is using them in a wide site, away from any obstacles. Don’t stand too close, and don’t use them in windy conditions. Light the fireworks carefully and never hold it in your hand. Use a firing base like a pail filled with sand and keep water nearby to dispose of used fireworks. Remember, never try to re-light a firework that does not go off, and wait 30 minutes before approaching it. Kids may want to bring ear plugs along, and pets can also be disturbed by the loud noises so consider your environment before you celebrate. Giving your neighbours notice is also a polite way to prevent stress for any furry by-standers.
Apply sunscreen – always! You may think it’s not too sunny out, or that you’re already tanned, but sunburns can be deadly and happen even on cloudy days. Ask someone else to apply it on your back and apply at least SPF 30. Remember to drink lots of water to stay hydrated, and bring a hat and spray water bottle to cool yourself off. Not all sunscreen is equal, so make sure you are using the right level of protection. Some sunscreens come in a spray can and can be difficult to apply, so we prefer the old fashioned lotion!
Keep children away from the barbecue and never leave it unattended. Inspect and clean it before using it for the first time each season and be sure to check for leaks. Always open the lid before lighting, and make sure you turn any fuel sources off before you are finished.
Ensure children in the pool are always supervised by a capable adult, and no one should ever swim alone. Make the pool rules clear: No running on the pool deck, no diving in a pool that isn’t deep enough, and for adults, no electrical appliances like radios near the pool. Glass bottles and containers should be avoided if possible.
Remember to pack:
A cooler with ice, food, and drinks
A cold pack for injuries
Tent, chairs, blanket
Change of clothes and a jacket for unexpected cool weather
Do you have any other Canada Day safety tips to share? Tell us below.