Whilst on any outdoor trip young people are four times safer with a licensed company like TrekCo than on a normal school visit, and ten times safer than going on holiday with parents! So risk levels are remarkably low considering the wide benefits of outdoor education. There are however some illnesses which can be caused by factors which are primarily found in the outdoor environment, and we would advise parents and teachers to look for certain symptoms after an outdoor trip. We must stress that these illnesses are very unusual and to date we have been notified of no cases following our outdoor visits; but it is useful to mention the visit to your GP should your child display any of the symptoms listed below in the month after the trip so that your GP can take this into account as a possibility. Lyme Disease This infection is transmitted by bites from ticks, usually associated with sheep and found in long grass or heather. Typically hillwalking in upland areas like the Peak District in shorts might attract tick bites. Lyme disease has been on the increase in recent years. It is simply treated, but serious if untreated. Symptoms include flu – like symptoms and muscle/joint pain, and most people see a distinctive circular rash. Please see the NHS website here for a full explanation. Weil’s Disease (Leptospirosis) This bacterial infection comes from water and could be a consequence of ingesting infected water from canoeing or stream walking for example. Symptoms – 90% of people have mild flu-like symptoms, but for some this can be much more serious. Please visit the NHS website here for full information.