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Campfires, Canoes and Counselors: Keeping Your Kids Safe at Summer Camp

Our Charleston injury attorneys offer parents helpful tips to choosing the right camp for their child and preventing camp-related injuries.

As the school year comes to a close, busy parents will be looking for ways to keep their children entertained and happily occupied during their summer break. For many families, this means sending young explorers and adventurers off to summer camp.

Parents can choose from many different types of camp programs that cater to a wide range of hobbies and interests. Keeping your kids safe at whatever summer camp you choose should be a top priority.

Accidental injuries are common among school-age children over the summer months. The risk of such injuries may be particularly worrisome for parents who are sending their children off to camp.

The following is important information to keep in mind when choosing and packing for summer camp. We also provide summer camp safety tips to share with your child and with other parents.

Summer Camp Safety: Choosing the Right Camp for Your Child

According to the American Camp Association (ACA), regardless of whether your child is an experienced camper or is going away from home for the first time, choosing the right type of summer camp to match his or her personality and needs will be half the battle.

A variety of camps are available to meet every interest, budget and scheduling need, including specialty camps that focus on a particular academic area or recreational pursuit, sports camps to help hone your young athlete’s skills and camps in wilderness settings that focus on survival skills. Many camps also cater to children with special needs, offering activities to help enhance their developmental abilities.

To ensure you choose the right camp for your child, ask yourself the following questions:

bullet
How rustic a setting do you think your child would be comfortable in?
bullet
Does your child do well with large numbers of children, or would he or she do better in a camp with a smaller enrollment?
bullet
Does your child have dietary or physical needs that a camp would need to address?
What level of structure and scheduling does your child require?
bullet
Does your child have dietary or physical needs that a camp would need to address?
bullet
What level of structure and scheduling does your child require?
bullet
Is your child used to sleepovers and staying away from home for long periods?
bullet
Will your child be comfortable sleeping in a group setting?

Summer Camp Safety: How to Pack

Most camps share common rules of what items campers should bring with them as well as things that should be left at home. The ACA advises following these do’s and don’ts when it comes to packing for summer camp:

what to pack

Pack

checkmark
Bed linens, including sleeping bags, pillows and an extra blanket
checkmark
Towels and personal toiletries, bearing in mind that most campers must walk to separate shower facilities.
checkmark
Clothing appropriate to activities and climate, including a jacket and rain poncho
checkmark
Equipment and miscellaneous items, including a camera, flashlight, stationery and stamps as well as bug repellant
checkmark
Medications (in its original bottle) as well as a medical release form and instructions on the proper dosage and times for the medication.

Do not pack

Do Not Pack

x marks
Electronics such as cell phones, portable televisions and gaming devices
x marks
Food, candy or snacks (unless permitted by camp rules)
Valuable or expensive items such as jewelry and certain clothing items
x marks
Hunting knives or anything that could be used as a potential weapon
x marks
Fireworks, lighters, matches or any type of fire starter.

Summer Camp Safety Tips

While summer camp offers the perfect opportunity to enjoy outdoor activities such as sports, horseback riding, rope climbing, swimming and whitewater rafting, it is important to be aware of the potential for accidents and injuries.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the most common types of injuries suffered by children during the summer months include:

Heat-related illnesses

Heat-related illnesses

Water-related accidents (drowning or near-drowning)

Water-related accidents (drowning or near-drowning)

Recreational sporting injuries

Recreational sporting injuries

Bites from animals and insects.

Bites from animals and insects.

The CDC recommends taking the following precautions to prevent accidents and injuries and to keep your kids safe at summer camp:

  • On hot and sunny days, encourage your child to cover up or use sunscreen.
  • Make sure the camp offers plenty of water to prevent dehydration.
  • To protect against heat exhaustion, physical activities at camp should be scheduled in shaded locations and during early morning and late afternoon.
  • Teach your children to swim and make sure your camp has counselors trained in CPR and lifesaving skills to supervise all water-related activities.
  • Research the location at which the camp is held and make note of the types of wildlife your child may encounter. Teach children never to approach a strange or wild animal.
  • Make sure your child uses insect repellant and teach them how to check for ticks.
  • Check with your camp to ensure any playground or fitness equipment is maintained and surrounded by surface material designed to absorb impact.
  • If rope or rock climbing or other activities involving heights are offered at your camp, make sure netting, harnesses and other safety equipment are used.
  • In addition to checking on how it addresses accidental injuries, make sure your child’s camp has policies and procedures in place to prevent bullying and other forms of violence.

What Should You Do If Your Child Suffers Injuries at Summer Camp?

Despite your best efforts at making sure your child is aware of summer camp safety rules and ways to avoid injuries, accidents can still happen. When an injury does occur, make sure your child knows to report it to his or her camp counselor as soon as possible and to get care from the camp nurse or medical facility.

At Mani Ellis & Layne, PLLC, our Charleston, West Virginia accident lawyers advise parents to leave detailed instructions with the camp’s counselors and administrators.

The instructions should tell the camp to notify you immediately of any injuries, regardless of how minor the injury may appear.

Keep in mind: Potentially serious conditions such as head injuries, muscle strains and infections from cuts and bites have symptoms that can go unnoticed or take days or even weeks to appear. This is why you should be notified if any injuries occur.

While you may not be present to prevent accidental injuries to your child, following these tips and guidelines should hopefully help to protect and keep your child safe at summer camp.

Of course, if necessary, don’t hesitate to contact us immediately for legal help.

children by the campfire

Our Charleston injury attorneys offer parents helpful tips to choosing the right camp for their child and preventing camp-related injuries.

As the school year comes to a close, busy parents will be looking for ways to keep their children entertained and happily occupied during their summer break. For many families, this means sending young explorers and adventurers off to summer camp.

Parents can choose from many different types of camp programs that cater to a wide range of hobbies and interests. Keeping your kids safe at whatever summer camp you choose should be a top priority.

Accidental injuries are common among school-age children over the summer months. The risk of such injuries may be particularly worrisome for parents who are sending their children off to camp.

The following is important information to keep in mind when choosing and packing for summer camp. We also provide summer camp safety tips to share with your child and with other parents.

Summer Camp Safety: Choosing the Right Camp for Your Child

According to the American Camp Association (ACA), regardless of whether your child is an experienced camper or is going away from home for the first time, choosing the right type of summer camp to match his or her personality and needs will be half the battle.

A variety of camps are available to meet every interest, budget and scheduling need, including specialty camps that focus on a particular academic area or recreational pursuit, sports camps to help hone your young athlete’s skills and camps in wilderness settings that focus on survival skills. Many camps also cater to children with special needs, offering activities to help enhance their developmental abilities.

To ensure you choose the right camp for your child, ask yourself the following questions:

bullet
How rustic a setting do you think your child would be comfortable in?
bullet
Does your child do well with large numbers of children, or would he or she do better in a camp with a smaller enrollment?
bullet
Does your child have dietary or physical needs that a camp would need to address?
What level of structure and scheduling does your child require?
bullet
Does your child have dietary or physical needs that a camp would need to address?
bullet
What level of structure and scheduling does your child require?
bullet
Is your child used to sleepovers and staying away from home for long periods?
bullet
Will your child be comfortable sleeping in a group setting?

Summer Camp Safety: How to Pack

Most camps share common rules of what items campers should bring with them as well as things that should be left at home. The ACA advises following these do’s and don’ts when it comes to packing for summer camp:

what to pack

Pack

checkmark
Bed linens, including sleeping bags, pillows and an extra blanket
checkmark
Towels and personal toiletries, bearing in mind that most campers must walk to separate shower facilities.
checkmark
Clothing appropriate to activities and climate, including a jacket and rain poncho
checkmark
Equipment and miscellaneous items, including a camera, flashlight, stationery and stamps as well as bug repellant
checkmark
Medications (in its original bottle) as well as a medical release form and instructions on the proper dosage and times for the medication.

Do not pack

Do Not Pack

x marks
Electronics such as cell phones, portable televisions and gaming devices
x marks
Food, candy or snacks (unless permitted by camp rules)
Valuable or expensive items such as jewelry and certain clothing items
x marks
Hunting knives or anything that could be used as a potential weapon
x marks
Fireworks, lighters, matches or any type of fire starter.

Summer Camp Safety Tips

While summer camp offers the perfect opportunity to enjoy outdoor activities such as sports, horseback riding, rope climbing, swimming and whitewater rafting, it is important to be aware of the potential for accidents and injuries.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the most common types of injuries suffered by children during the summer months include:

Heat-related illnesses

Heat-related illnesses

Water-related accidents (drowning or near-drowning)

Water-related accidents (drowning or near-drowning)

Recreational sporting injuries

Recreational sporting injuries

Bites from animals and insects.

Bites from animals and insects.

The CDC recommends taking the following precautions to prevent accidents and injuries and to keep your kids safe at summer camp:

  • On hot and sunny days, encourage your child to cover up or use sunscreen.
  • Make sure the camp offers plenty of water to prevent dehydration.
  • To protect against heat exhaustion, physical activities at camp should be scheduled in shaded locations and during early morning and late afternoon.
  • Teach your children to swim and make sure your camp has counselors trained in CPR and lifesaving skills to supervise all water-related activities.
  • Research the location at which the camp is held and make note of the types of wildlife your child may encounter. Teach children never to approach a strange or wild animal.
  • Make sure your child uses insect repellant and teach them how to check for ticks.
  • Check with your camp to ensure any playground or fitness equipment is maintained and surrounded by surface material designed to absorb impact.
  • If rope or rock climbing or other activities involving heights are offered at your camp, make sure netting, harnesses and other safety equipment are used.
  • In addition to checking on how it addresses accidental injuries, make sure your child’s camp has policies and procedures in place to prevent bullying and other forms of violence.

What Should You Do If Your Child Suffers Injuries at Summer Camp?

Despite your best efforts at making sure your child is aware of summer camp safety rules and ways to avoid injuries, accidents can still happen. When an injury does occur, make sure your child knows to report it to his or her camp counselor as soon as possible and to get care from the camp nurse or medical facility.

At Mani Ellis & Layne, PLLC, our Charleston, West Virginia accident lawyers advise parents to leave detailed instructions with the camp’s counselors and administrators.

The instructions should tell the camp to notify you immediately of any injuries, regardless of how minor the injury may appear.

Keep in mind: Potentially serious conditions such as head injuries, muscle strains and infections from cuts and bites have symptoms that can go unnoticed or take days or even weeks to appear. This is why you should be notified if any injuries occur.

While you may not be present to prevent accidental injuries to your child, following these tips and guidelines should hopefully help to protect and keep your child safe at summer camp.

Of course, if necessary, don’t hesitate to contact us immediately for legal help.