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Safety First.small

Stay Safe when you Recreate!

There are a lot of fun activities that youth and adults participate in to keep active, including hiking, biking, swimming and winter activities to name a few. Make sure to keep your entire family safe when on a family outing. No matter what kinds of activities you choose, you can limit the number of injuries that occur and have a good safe time.

Important Tips to think about prior to planning your recreation outing:

  • Stay hydrated - Always bring a water bottle with you when participating in an activity.
  • Know your limits - Do not plan activities that you are not capable of doing. Planning your activities around your family’s activity level will keep injuries from occurring due to exhaustion.
  • Bring a First Aid kit - You should always carry a basic first aid kit with you whenever you do any sort of outdoor recreation.
  • Use protective gear - Ensure that you have the necessary equipment to do your activity.
  • Keep your equipment in good shape.


The following information describes tips on how to 'play safe' by wearing the proper protective equipment and evaluating the environment for risks.

 

Hiking Tips

There are few things more enjoyable than getting out into nature and getting in some exercise at the same time in the form of a hike.  But safety should always come first, and preparation is key, so here are some top tips for staying safe next time you're on a hike.

  • Check the weather before you set out - wear layers, bring sun protection and rain jacket 
  • Don't hike alone and let someone know where you're going
  • Bring a map and compass and look out for landmarks
  • Bring plenty of water and snacks 
  • Take time to rest regularly and enjoy your surroundings
  • Carry out a tick check when you return

 

Cycling Sense

Here are our top cycling reminders to help keep yourself and other road users safe.

  • Prep your ride - make sure everything is in working order before you leave
  • Make it legal - wear a helmet, use a bell to communicate with other trail users
  • Get visible - make sure you and your bike can be seen
  • Ride with care and be distraction-free - ride in a straight line, be predictable and don't use mobile devices or headphones
  • Communicate - use hand signals when turning, slowing down or stopping.  Shoulder check before passing other trail users and use your bell or your voice
  • Respect the rules of the road
  • Yield to foot traffic
  • Know the trail and plan your route

 

Swimming Safely

Swimming can provide hours of fun and relief from the hot, humid days of summer, but swimming in natural water environments can be more challenging than a home pool.  Follow these safety tips to ensure that you and your family stay safe.

  • Always enter unknown water feet first
  • Watch out for currents, waves, drop-offs and underwater obstructions
  • Take swimming lessons
  • Watch out for a change in the weather - leave the water immediately at signs of thunder and lightning
  • Be aware of other people's activities in the same waters, such as boating
  • Swim with a buddy
  • Swim sober, if supervising others, be sober and without other distractions
  • Know your own abilities! 
  • Protect yourself against Swimmers Itch - apply waterproof sunscreen before swimming, avoid swimming in marshy areas, rinse-off with clean water immediately after leaving the water and dry yourself vigorously with a towel.

 

 Sun Smart

As the Australians so simply put it...Slip! Slop! Slap!  Here's how to Stay Safe in the Sun...

  • Slip on a shirt ideally light coloured and long-sleeved
  • Slop on the 30+ sunscreen and reapply every two hours
  • Slap on a hat
  • Seek shade or shelter
  • Slide on some glasses - with both UVA and UVB protection
  • Keep out of the sun between 11:00 am and 3:00 pm

 

Winter Safety

We don't want winter to keep you indoors!  Here are some pointers for enjoying outside.

♦ Ice Thickness to safely enjoy winter activities:

  • 15cm - Walking or Skating Alone
  • 20cm - Group Skating or Playing Hockey
  • 25cm - Snowmobiling or driving an ATV

♦ Walk Like A Penguin!

  • Extend your arms and point your feet slightly outward
  • Wear footwear with slip-resistant soles and good treads
  • Adjust your place to the surface conditions
  • Watch where you're stepping

♦ Skiing, Snowboarding and Skating

  • Wear a helmet
  • Check your equipment 
  • Dress for the weather and prepare for worsening conditions
  • Know the forecast and trail/surface conditions

 

Playground Safety

To enjoy safe playtime with your children, please teach them the guidelines for playground safety below:

  • Never push or roughhouse while on equipment.
  • Use equipment properly — slide feet first, don't climb outside guardrails, no standing on swings, keep away from moving swings and bottom of slides, hold onto railings, do not go up the slide ladder until the other person has gone down the slide and always wait your turn.
  • If your child likes to jump off equipment, always check to make sure no other children are in the way. When you jump, land on both feet with knees slightly bent
  • Playground equipment can be slippery if it's wet and uncomfortably hot in the sun so use good judgment 

 

Tick Awareness

Nova Scotia is home to various kinds of ticks, but the black-legged tick (deer tick) is the only one that carries the bacteria and virus that cause tick-borne diseases, such as Lyme disease.  Ticks like to live in grassy, bushy, heavily-vegetated areas, urban parks and wooded areas...to name just a few places! 

Here's how to reduce your tick risk:

  • Wear light coloured clothing, so they are easier to find
  • Wear long pants and long sleeves
  • Use insect repellents containing DEET or lcaridin
  • Check your body and clothing for ticks after spending time outdoors...pssst...they like to hide in warm places on the body

The Municipality takes the increasing prevalence of Lyme disease very seriously, and in the past few years has partnered with the Public Health Agency of Canada on a bait station research project, and with Nova Scotia Public Health on an educational campaign.  Please visit the Province's information page for more information on Tick Safety:  https://novascotia.ca/ticksafety/