Caution of camping near trees

Kidsafe is urging campers to be extra safe around trees. (supplied)

With the Easter and school holidays upon us and many families heading on camping trips, Kidsafe Victoria is reminding Melton and Moorabool residents about the potential dangers of falling trees and branches.

The call comes after recent incidents – both in Victoria and interstate – which have resulted in damage to properties and vehicles, as well as serious injuries and deaths to adults and children.

Kidsafe Victoria General Manager Jason Chambers said it was important for families to be aware of the risks associated with camping, parking vehicles, or picnicking near trees.

“Branches and entire trees can fall without warning. The risk may be increased this Easter following recent flood and storm events which can saturate the ground, loosen soil, and compromise the stability of trees,” he said.

“When setting up your campsite, it’s safest to choose a clear area away from trees, particularly if the trees show signs of being unsafe.”

Signs indicating potential tree hazards include dead or decaying trees or major branches, cracks or splits along the trunk, ground lifting or movement at the base of the tree or roots, and trees leaning heavily to one side.

Kidsafe Victoria has also released a set of camping tips to help families reduce the risk of other serious injuries such as burns and low speed vehicle runovers, when out enjoying the great outdoors these holidays.

– Closely supervise children around cars and other vehicles to help prevent low speed vehicle runovers. All cars have a large blind spot, some up to 15m, which can make it difficult to see

children when reversing or moving forwards.

– To help keep toddlers safe in and around water, make sure an adult is always within arm’s reach and actively supervising them. Bodies of water such as dams, rivers, creeks, and streams can all pose potential drowning hazards.

– Before you light a campfire, check fire restrictions.

– Always supervise open flames such as campfires, BBQs, firepits, and pizza ovens, and keep

children away from them.

– Put your campfire out with water, not soil. If you put a campfire out by covering it in sand or

dirt, it can still be hot enough 8 hours later to cause serious burns.

– Choose camping sites that are under a clear sky. Never camp under trees or branches.