Many Ontarians celebrate our August Civic Holiday by barbecuing at home, heading to the cottage or beach, or cracking open a cold one with some friends. There are lots of ways to enjoy the holiday with your  loved ones, but before you get started – might we suggest some safety tips, just in case.

1.Family Safety
When travelling with children heading into a campsite, crowded festival, or firework celebration, it’s a good idea to have a meeting spot in case anyone gets lost. Take note of what each child is wearing before going into crowds, and even consider wearing matching colours to be noticed. Having a plan of action if someone gets lost can save time and stress for the whole family.

2.Health Habits
You’ll need additional medical insurance if you leave the province. Just because you’re still in Canada doesn’t mean you are covered. In the event of an injury, you may still need to pay the difference in costs between your Ontario insurance coverage and your vacation locale. Homeservice Club members have access to discounted travel insurance rates – see Membership Benefits for more details.

3.Driving Safety
Holiday driving can be stressful. Try to use public transportation to get you to your destination and avoid traffic or parking hassles. A PRESTO Card makes it easy to travel between Go Trains, buses, and subway stops. If you’re are driving and planning on having a few adult beverages, pick a designated driver at the beginning of the day. On long road trips, alternate drivers as fatigue can creep up on you quickly.

4.Firework Safety
Make  sure an adult over 18 years old uses 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 them 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 bystanders..

5.Sun Safety
Apply sunscreen – always! You may think it’s not that sunny out, or that you’re already tanned, but sunburns and happen even on cloudy days. Not all sunscreen is equal, so make sure you are using the right level of protection. Ask someone to apply it to your back and use at least SPF 30. Remember to drink lots of water to stay hydrated, and bring a hat.

6.BBQ Safety
Keep children away from the barbecue and don’t 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.

7.Pool Safety
Ensure children in the pool are always supervised by a capable adult. 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 on the pool deck and replaced with other non-breakable options.

Take the Time Off – You Deserve It.

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