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Legally SpeakingSummer Camp

Safety Tips and Questions Parents Should Ask Before Committing to a Local Summer Camp

It’s about that time of year to start thinking seriously about what type of summer camp you will be sending your child to this coming summer. Summer camps can vary in activities from sports, arts, science, coding, tennis, golf, and more, so if your child has different interests, how do you decide which camp is best? You may feel more comfortable with sending your kids to a local summer camp, but even if they aren’t going far away, the safety of the camp should be your top priority.

Summer Camp safety should be top-of-mind as you research camps here in the Miami area, so here are some reminders of issues that you should consider as you choose a summer camp.

Is the camp accredited?

Most sleepaway camps should be accredited by the American Camp Association, which ensures that camps comply with over 300 safety and quality standards. However, this type of accreditation may not always be required for local summer camps. Ask the camp if they are accredited, and if so, what standards the camp is held to when it comes to safety and quality.

What are the camp emergency procedures?

In this day and age, it’s never a bad thing to be over prepared for any emergency situation. Ask the camp what their response would be to any type of emergency and how they will communicate with parents. Make sure that the camp has a solid plan and is confident about their execution during a crisis.

What is the camp medical procedure, and is there medical staff on site?

Meeting the medical staff is extremely important when it comes to children who have allergies or special medical needs attending the camp. Every camp should have a medical procedure and someone on staff who is a trained medical professional. If your child has special medical needs, make sure there is a way to communicate those to all relevant staff and ensure that you can have open lines of communication with the medical personnel on site.

How many years has the camp been running and have they ever had safety issues?

Long-standing, reputable camps should have no problem giving this information. If you feel more comfortable sending your child to a camp that has been in operation for a long time, ask how long the camp has been open and what kind of safety record they have.

What is the ratio of staff members to campers, and what training does the staff have to do?

It’s essential that your children have proper supervision at camp, especially if they are at a camp that involves some risk. The American Camp Association recommends the following ratios for local day camps:

  • One staff member for every eight campers aged six to eight.
  • One staff member for every ten campers aged nine to 14.
  • One staff member for every 12 campers aged 15-18.

Additionally, ask what kind of training the staff must complete. Are all staff members trained in CPR? Do they know how to spot a suspicious person at the campsite? Ask what training is required and what qualifications each staff member must have.

What is the transportation method for field trips?

If the camp conducts field trips throughout the summer, what type of transportation do they utilize? Is it a bus company, or are parents responsible for driving? What kind of safety record does the transportation company have when it comes to transporting children?

There are other safety considerations to make for specific types of camps, such as ensuring your child will have plenty of access to water during a sports camp, but the main idea is that you qualify the camp before you trust staff with the life of your child over the summer.

At Panter, Panter, and Sampedro, we are committed to the safety of the members of our community, and that is why we are dedicated to protecting Florida’s families. If you or your child is injured due to the negligence of someone not following safety procedures, contact us to learn more about how you may be able to recover financial losses through a personal injury claim. We can be reached at 305-662-6178 for a complimentary initial consultation about your specific situation.

Mitchell Panter
Author: Mitchell Panter

Mitchell Panter
the authorMitchell Panter
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