Raising 3 girls in the beautiful and busy city of Toronto, there was no bigger luxury than escaping the craziness and spending a weekend up north at the cottage. By the lake, under the sun, and lathered in sunscreen, the cottage had something for everyone – parents included! Me and my wife always loved how much our kids enjoyed the outdoors and exploring nature, but this freedom always came with many safety concerns. Over the years, we made it our mission to make our cottage, and its surroundings, a safe and enjoyable environment for the kids to run free. So, from me to you, here are 10 tips on how to ensure the safety of your little ones whether it be on the dock, the boat, or just around your summer home:

  1. Life jackets
    • Sizing
    • EVERYONE should wear
  2. Fences/guards
  3. Dock safety
    • New, dock quality/nail check
    • Latters
    • Lights
  4. Hazard knowledge (poison ivy, berries, etc.)
  5. Water safety (signals, buddy system)
    • In-water safety signals (head home, safe)
  6. First aid kits
  7. Water/close-toed shoes
    • Leeches, zebra mussels
  8. Bug spray
    • The importance of deet
  9. Sunscreen
    • SPF
  10. Fire safety (bonfire, fire strikes)
    • Local fire restrictions