School camp safety: Five important things every parent should check

School camp safety: Five important things every parent should check

These five things could help save your child's life while on a school field trip.

Kids on a school trip
Kids on a school trip/ iStock

The recent news of the death of 13-year-old Enoch Mpianzi, who died while on a school camp, has left many parents fearing for the safety of their kids.

Enoch was in Grade 8 and had gone on an orientation camp with the Parktown Boys High to the Nyati Bush and River Breakaway in Brits, North West.

The boy went missing on Wednesday, 15 January during a “water activity”, but his body was only found on Friday after police went on a search for him.

According to reports, the investigation around the death found that Enoch went swimming during the camp, despite not being able to swim, and he didn’t have a life jacket. 

READ: Calls to ban school outings after death of Enoch Mpianzi

Another story is of two grade 8 pupils from Trinity House school who were bitten by a venomous snake whilst asleep on a school camp. The learners were taken to a hospital in Brits where they were stabilised. 

All these incidents have led to the Department of Education setting new regulations when it comes to safety on school trips.

Gauteng Education MEC Panyaza Lesufi said schools planning any water-related activities in Gauteng are now requested to get approval from the provincial education board.

Because school trips and camps are very common, we have decided to share important things that every parent or guardian must check before allowing their child to go.

Know the destination of the trip

Know exactly where your child is going and find out as much as you can about the venue. Find out the address and enquire about safety measures at the venue.

In this case, if anything goes wrong, you would be able to know exactly where to begin looking for your child. 

Ask for details about the trip

Parents allow their child to go on trips because they believe their children will be under the care of teachers. 

Ensure that there are enough teachers in proportion to the number of children that will be going on the camp.

Have all the important contact numbers

Ask for the teachers’ numbers, the contact number of where your child will be sleeping, and get the numbers of your child’s friends.

Check on your child every day to just ensure everything is well.

Check the activities

Before your child goes on a trip, check what activities will be done at the camp. If there are activities your child cannot partake in or isn’t equipped thoroughly for, let the school know. 

Also, remember to tell the school and teachers about any allergies your child might have. 

Ask if there is a first aid kit

Make sure you pack a first aid kit for your child and ask the school if they also have one. 

Remember to also pack your child’s medical aid card, in case they need to be rushed to the doctor or hospital. 

READ: Six things you can do at home to help your child excel in school

Image courtesy of iStock/ IPGGutenbergUKLtd

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