With schools out, summer camps are filling up with promises of fun activities and exciting adventures. While summer camps help keep children and teens busy throughout the season, injuries can occur that can change a summer of fun into a summer of pain and recovery. Whether children attend day camps or sleep away camps, safety needs to be a top priority for camp administrators and counselors.
Summer camps typically offer a variety of swimming, fishing, boating, and hiking opportunities, sports activities, and plenty of playgrounds and sunshine. The physical activities available at camp have health and age-appropriate social benefits, but without careful supervision and safety procedures in place, children can be subjected to accidents that have serious and sometimes catastrophic consequences.
The most high risk areas of any camp are those with water. Swimming pools, ponds, lakes, streams, and rivers lure children and adults, but they also pose some of the biggest threats. Small children can drown in just a few inches of water in a very short time period. Children can drown even when adult supervisors are present. It is imperative that all camp administrators and counselors be CPR trained and certified so that they can react quickly if an accident occurs.
Death is not the only consequence of drowning. A near drowning or a dry drowning can leave a victim seriously brain damaged, requiring a lifetime of cognitive and physical assistance. Parents should always ask plenty of questions about the camp’s safety policies and certifications held by those in charge of their child’s camp. Quick action to save a child in trouble in the water can mean the difference between life and death, or permanent disability.
Playgrounds and other recreation areas can also be dangerous places. Slips and falls while running or other playground accidents can result in a host of injuries. Broken bones, brain injuries, internal organ damage, and severe cuts and lacerations can require surgery, hospitalization, prescription medications, and in some cases, ongoing physical or cognitive therapy. When children suffer severe injuries, they can endure damage that can last long into their adult years.
The management and staff of children’s camps have a responsibility to ensure the safety of their campers. Fences and locked gates should secure swimming pools and other water areas. Children should be tested on their water ability and limited to the activities suitable to their skills. Swimming vests and life jackets should always be worn by children under 12 years of age. Playground and recreational areas should be well maintained and free from unnecessary hazards. Rusty playground equipment and weak structures can result in serious injuries.
Finally, parents should not forget about protecting their children from the harmful effects of the sun. Children should always wear sunscreen and reapply it throughout the day to avoid sunburn. Children should have ample access to water to stay hydrated to avoid sunstroke, overheating, and dehydration.
If your child has been injured by the negligence or carelessness of another, call the New Jersey injury lawyers at Eichen Crutchlow Zaslow, LLP at 732-777-0100, or contact us online to schedule a consultation today. Our offices are located in Red Bank, Toms River, and Edison, New Jersey serving clients throughout the state.