During summer, we spend a lot of time outdoors. In this section, you will find tips on camping safety and how to protect your family from mosquito bites.
Camping Safety Tips
- Bring a first-aid kit which includes treatments for food and insect allergies.
- On group outings, leaders need to know about a child's life-threatening food or insect allergies and be ready to deal with them.
- Ensure that children are kept a safe distance from the fire.
- Remember that after a camp fire is extinguished the embers remain dangerously hot for hours later.
- Keep sand or water near the campfire to put out the fire.
- Children should always be with a buddy when leaving the campsite and let an adult know their whereabouts.
- Food attracts wild animals and insects. If possible, store it in a cooler in your car, not in your tent.
Welcome to bug season!
How to lessen the risk of bug bites.
Protect yourself and your family from bug bites:
- When outdoors, use insect repellents that contain DEET or other ingredients registered under the Pest Control Products Act. Look for the PCP Act registration number on the product label.
- When using insect repellents, read and follow all label directions.
- Wear protective clothing such as long-sleeved shirts, long pants and a hat. Mosquitoes tend to be attracted to dark colours.
- Make sure that door and window screens fit tightly and have no holes that may allow mosquitoes indoors.
- People can use both sunscreen and insect repellents when they are outdoors to protect their health. Follow the instructions on the package for proper applications of each product. Apply the sunscreen first, followed by the insect repellent.
Eliminate mosquito breeding sites around your home and vacation property:
Mosquitoes lay eggs in standing water and in approximately four days the eggs grow into adults. A small amount of water, like a saucer under a flower pot, is enough to act as a breeding ground.
You can eliminate standing water around your property by:
- Regularly (twice a week) drain standing water from items like pool covers, saucers under flower pots, recycle bins, garbage cans, etc.
- Remove old unused items from around your property (i.e., old tires) which have a tendency to collect water.
- Change the water in wading pools, bird baths, pet bowls, and livestock watering tanks twice a week.
- Cover rain barrels with screens.
- Clean out eaves troughs regularly to prevent clogs that can trap water.
- Purchase an aeroator for ornamental ponds. This keeps the surface water moving, making the water inhospitable to mosquito larvae.
Find out more...
West Nile Virus
West Nile virus is a mosquito-borne virus. Mosquitoes transmit the virus after becoming infected by feeding on the blood of birds that carry the virus.
For most Canadians, the risk of illness from West Nile virus is low, and the risk of serious health effects is even lower. However, it is important to know the symptoms of illness related to infection and how to minimize your risk, especially if virus activity is reported in an area near you.
Health Canada works closely with many partners across Canada on surveillance of West Nile virus, and posts frequent updates about the virus on their West Nile Virus Surveillance Information Web site.
If you come in contact with poison ivy...
- Wash contaminated areas of the skin carefully with soap and cold water.
- If a reaction develops, seek the advice of a physician for proper treatment.
- Skin irritation resulting from exposure to poison ivy normally disappears in a week to 10 days.