Summer Camp Safety Guide – Keep Your Kiddos Safe!
Hey parents, here’s an easy Summer Camp Safety Guide! When you are a kid, one of the things you look forward to during summer aside from not having to go to school is summer camp! And why wouldn’t it be? At camp, kids get their first taste of independence by being away from the watchful eyes of mom and dad, they get to meet new friends and have an enriching experience that will last a lifetime.
For you as a parent though, sending your kids off to camp, whether it be for a day, a week or longer, can be a little scary, but, we are here to tell you, it doesn’t have to be. At Altus Emergency Centers we want to help parents and kids create a summer of happy memories which is why we are sharing our Summer Camp Safety Guide.
Ask the Right Questions
As a parent, you have the right to ask as many questions as you need before sending your kids off to summer camp. Here are a few questions we like to ask:
- Who are the counselors?
- Who supervises the counselors?
- What kind of staff training is in place regarding physical boundaries, use of language, and disciplinary actions
- How are staff screened, do the camp organizers conduct thorough background checks, fingerprinting and most importantly do they check to see if their potential staffer is registered as a sex offender?
- Ask where everyone is going to sleep, bathe, and change. Counselors, supervisors, and volunteers should never be allowed to change in front of the children.
- What is the ratio of counselors to campers? The American Camp Association has set the following staffing ratios based on the age of the campers, make sure your child’s camp complies with these:
|Age Group||Day Camp||Overnight Camp|
|4-5 Year Old’s||6:1||5:1|
|6-8 Year Old’s||8:1||6:1|
|9-14 Year Old’s||10:1||8:1|
|15-18 Year Old’s||12:1||10:1|
Make Sure there is an Emergency Protocol in Place
This is a critical step while evaluating camp options, even though most summer camp activities are safe when planned correctly, we all know an accident can happen at any time, and it is because of this that it’s important for parents to understand the emergency protocols that are in place.
These are some of the key factors you should look for:
- Find out what kind of medical staff will be on the premises and where your child will receive care should they become ill or be involved in an accident. Feel free to instruct the camp organizers to bring your child to the nearest Altus Emergency Center for any injury that requires emergency medical attention.
- Ask if the counselors, supervisors, and volunteers are CPR (Cardio-Pulmonary Resuscitation) and AED (Automated External Defibrillator) certified.
- Make sure the staff has been trained to recognize common summer ailments like heat exhaustion, and that they know what protocols need to be followed.
- If your child must take medicine to treat a particular health condition, find out who manages and dispenses the medications, make a point of meeting with them to ensure they understand how and when the medication needs to be administered.
Research the Camp’s Safety Precautions
There should be a written health policy and prevention protocols, if the camp you considering cannot provide you with these, start looking elsewhere, this is not a safe place for your child to be.
All camps should have these necessary safety precautions:
- Dehydration protocols; staff should follow a protocol to prevent dehydration, this includes hourly water drinking schedule and shade breaks.
- Sports camps should have mandatory weigh-ins and weigh-outs to ensure the children have proper hydration and they maintain a healthy weight.
- The camp must provide lifejackets for water sports like canoeing, or swimming in lakes or rivers. They should also provide helmets and other appropriate gear for activities such as biking, climbing, and horseback riding.
Don’t Forget the Food
Physical activity will make any kid hungry, as a parent you need to make sure your child will be fed a balanced diet while at camp.
- Ask what kind of snacks will be provided, are they compatible with your child’s diet?
- If your child has a food allergy, everyone at the camp should be made aware
- Make sure all food is stored at the right temperature
Let’s make this a summer to remember for the all the right reasons, Altus Emergency Centers is committed to working with families, summer camp organizers and kids to help minimize the risk of accidental injuries, together we can make this the best summer of our lives!
Know Where to Go In the Event of an Emergency
If you are ever in need of quality emergency care, you will not have to wait in line at Altus Emergency Centers. All of our ERs are fully equipped and open 24/7.