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Is The Summer Camp You Are Going To Send Your Child To Safe Or Could It Lead To A Drowning Or Serious Injury?

by The Beasley Firm  |  June 6, 2012  |  

Once school is out, kids love to attend summer camp, day camp, overnight camp, swimming camp or any camp that involves hiking, tennis, biking, music, cooking, science and much more. As an experienced child injury law firm, this brings to mind thoughts of staff qualifications, safety procedures, and emergency treatment measures that should be in place at each camp site. Even if your child attended the same camp last year, you would always want to re-evaluate the camp, policies and safety measures. Here are a few things you may want to investigate about the camp you are planning on sending your child to:

  • Does the camp have American Camp Association (ACA) accreditation?
  • How is the staff screened? Did you know that many states do not require a criminal background check on the staff that will be taking care of your child? Pennsylvania is one of those states that does not require a criminal background check. Do they do a search on the national sex offender registry?
  • What is the ratio of staff to children and does it meet the state’s guidelines for proper supervision?
  • How is the staff trained to handle fire safety at the campsite?
  • How will your child be oriented to the camp? How are they instructed on areas that are dangerous or off limits?
  • What policy does the camp have in place to prohibit unauthorized visitors from visiting your child?
  • How do they respond to a lost camper or missing child?
  • How does the camp handle insect bites, allergic reactions, food poisoning and other medical problems?
  • Does the camp have Epi-pens and Automated External Defibrillators (AED’s) on the camp site and are the employees trained on how to use them?
  • Is the staff trained in CPR, First Aid and how to respond to a potential spinal cord injury or broken neck/back?
  • Where is the nearest hospital?
  • Are the cabins and beds safe and sturdy? Do the cabins have working smoke alarms? Are there outlets near a water source? Are there ground fault outlets in place? Are extension cords being used?
  • How does the staff respond to a fire in a cabin or building? Are the campers put through a fire drill so they know how to safely exit a burning building? Are there fire extinguishers in or around the buildings? Are the extinguisher’s inspections up to date?
  • Is the camp compliant with state regulations that govern the camp’s operation? Is there a Children’s Camp Inspection Report or Bathing Beach Inspection Report? Is there a Health Department Inspection Report?
  • How many lifeguards and water safety instructors are there? How are lifeguard breaks covered? Are the lifeguards trained in not only pool safety but how to watch swimmers in lakes, ponds, rivers or streams?
  • Does the camp have the proper lifesaving and safety equipment to rescue a swimmer that is in distress?
  • If boating are there life jackets that will be supplied to each boater? Do they have different size life jackets that would safely and properly fit children of all sizes?
  • What types of chemicals are used to clean the bathrooms and cabins? Where are the toxic chemicals stored? Are pesticides used? If so, when and how.
  • If campers need to be transported off of the camp site who will be driving? How old are the driver’s? What type of license do they have? What type of vehicle will they be driving? If a school bus is used, is the driver trained in driving a bus? Do the drivers make sure seat belts are fastened?
  • Inquire about previous serious injuries or prior deaths at the camp. You may want to find out how the accident occurred and what the camp did in response to the accident or injury.

Each and every year thousands of kids attend summer camp without any incidents or injuries. However, there are some children that attended camps only to drown, be sexually abused or sustain a serious injury due to the negligence of the camp employees. If your child was injured while at camp, please feel free to contact one of our experienced child injury lawyers, doctors, or nurses for a strictly confidential and free consultation.

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