Summer camp is a great way to keep your child active while they enjoy the outdoors and make new friends. There are many different types of summer camp themes, meaning that there’s surely one that your kid will love.
While sending your kid to camp is meant to be fun, you also need to consider their safety. Summer camp can be dangerous depending on the staff, what activities are involved, how safety is considered, and how equipped the campground is to handle health concerns.
The last thing you want is for your child to get injured or sick and have an awful experience. This may cause them to dislike summer camp and similar supervised group programs.
With this in mind, there are a few things to address before setting your child free at camp. We’ll go over this below to help ensure your little one’s safety!
Inform Camp Personnel
The first thing you should do is to inform the camp personnel about your child’s health status and any relevant concerns.
This should include any allergies, illnesses, injuries, or other medical conditions your child is currently experiencing. Furthermore, you should instruct them on how to help your child should an issue regarding their condition arise.
Informing the camp personnel about your child is critical because they may unknowingly have something that endangers your child. An excellent example of this is serving food with peanuts to children with nut allergies.
When the camp personnel understands your child’s needs, they’ll know how to meet them. In turn, this makes camp much safer for your little one and provides you with peace of mind knowing that they have the care they need.
Ask About Safety Practices
Next, you should ask whoever’s in charge about the camp’s safety practices.
This is also crucial because some summer camps are poorly equipped to handle injuries and other medical concerns. Most will have a basic first aid kit, but this is often not enough to address more serious concerns like an allergic reaction or the ingestion of harmful substances.
In particular, you want to know the extent of their medical staff, what they can handle, how they’ll address health concerns, what kind of training the staff has, whether they have an emergency plan, and who they’ll contact.
The more thorough you are during this process, the better idea you’ll have as to how safe your child will be at camp. Any camps that are evasive or defensive may lack adequate safety precautions and this can make an injury more likely.
Look for a camp that is open about their practices and can cover everything your child needs.
Examine the Campground
Before leaving your child, it’s important to examine the campground yourself and ensure it’s safe for use.
It’s difficult to fully investigate where your child will be spending their time, but an inspection of where they’ll be sleeping is a good start.
This is important for two reasons.
First, it will let you detect any obvious safety concerns. Is anything broken or poorly maintained? Are there fall hazards or anything that could easily cause an injury?
Second, a poorly maintained camp may also speak to how the camp approaches camper safety. The condition of the campground plays a role in how safe the campers are, so failing to maintain it is neglect for camper safety.
You want your child to spend their time at a safe summer camp. This means a maintained campground with facilities that are in good condition.
Prepare Your Child
A final suggestion is to prepare your child for summer camp, both physically and mentally.
Physically, you should take your child to the doctor and have them get a physical exam. This will verify that they are physically fit to participate in summer camp and will alert you to any health concerns you should inform the camp personnel about.
It also allows you to get them caught up on vaccines and learn any specific advice your child will need to stay safe at camp.
Mentally, your child needs to understand the dangers present at summer camp. If they don’t know something’s dangerous and why it matters, then they don’t have the wisdom needed to avoid accidents.
Inform your child about the common dangers of summer camp like drowning, unsafe equipment, and doing anything alone. Help them to understand that safety is an important part of having fun.
When your child is physically and mentally prepared for summer camp, they’re much likelier to return home in one piece.
If your child wants to attend summer camp, it’s up to you to ensure their safety during their stay. While you can’t directly watch and protect them, you can take measures beforehand to verify that they are in the right hands.
In particular, you should inform the camp personnel about any health concerns your child has, ask about their safety practices, examine the campground, and both physically and mentally prepare your child for camp.
Your little one will only want to think about having fun, but their safety matters more. Keep them safe by finding a reputable summer camp and making sure your child is ready to go!