Each summer thousands of children across the nation attend summer camps. Parents choose summer camps for their children based on the camp's overall philosophy and on their child's particular needs. However before sending your child to camp it is important to make sure that the facility has a strong commitment to the safety and security of its participants.
The most common injuries and complications from camp are due to:
- Illness - Campers and camp counselors are almost twice as likely to become ill than they are to become injured. Colds the flu and infectious diseases can spread quickly through a camp environment. It is important for parents to keep sick children at home to control the spread of illness and for camp leaders who become ill to reduce their contact and interaction with children.
- Poor Hygiene - Poor hygiene can lead to infectious diseases which in turn cause 20 percent of all illnesses among campers and staff members. Staff should adamantly require campers to wash their hands before meals and encourage proper hand-washing habits throughout the day. In addition children should know not to sneeze into their hands but rather into their sleeves or the crook of their arms to prevent the spread of germs.
- Trips slips and falls - These are the most commonly reported types of injury reported in summer camps. In fact almost 30 percent of injuries at summer camp are sprain and strain injuries which are caused by a trip slip or fall accident. Often these injuries result from the use of improper footwear in rough slippery terrain or other outdoor environments. Review a camp's footwear policy to determine if closed toed shoes are required or if sandals and flip flops are allowed during active periods.
- Lack or misuse of protective equipment - Although certain camp activities may require particular specialized safety equipment not all camps will require campers and staff to actually use the equipment. In fact in half of all injury events in which safety equipment was needed proper protective equipment was not being worn by campers or staff members. Lack of safety equipment can cause serious complications including back neck spine and head injuries.
- Sharp objects - 15 percent of all injuries to campers and staff are caused by sharp objects. Camps should take proper precautions to keep facilities in top condition and staff should know about proper kitchen knife safety.
- Fatigue -Injuries increase as campers and camp staff get increasingly tired throughout the day. When fatigued camp staff become less observant and campers become increasingly susceptible to illness and injury. Campers should not be overloaded with activity or deprived of sleep.
Summer camps should take every possible precaution to ensure the safety and well-being of campers and staff members. However no matter how reputable and safe a summer camp appears accidents can still occur. For more information about your legal options in the event of an accident visit the website of the Iowa personal injury attorneys of LaMarca & Landry P.C.