Study Finds Overnight Summer Camps Safe for Kids
By Staff Writer
There are a few universal truths about summer camp: Kids love to go, and having a child away at camp makes parents worry. Will my child be safe?
A new study published in the journal Injury Prevention should give parents peace of mind about sending their children to summer camp.
The American Camp Association’s Healthy Camp Study examined injury rates in a large number of summer camps located throughout the United States and Canada. The researchers reported that the risk of serious injury at overnight summer camps is low compared to other popular youth activities.
“The good news for parents is that our data show that serious injuries are uncommon at resident summer camps,” Dawn Comstock, associate professor at the Center for Injury Research and Policy of Nationwide Children’s Hospital and The Ohio State University College of Medicine, said in an article on the ScienceDaily website. “The reported injury rate among campers was comparable to those in similar youth activities like sports or playing on playgrounds.”
Very few serious injuries occurred at summer camp during the study period. The researchers found that less than 3 percent of camp injuries required hospital admission. Almost all campers who sustained an injury either remained at camp for treatment or returned to camp after receiving treatment offsite.
Making Safety a Priority
Summer camp programs specialize in working with children and teens and keeping them safe. The best summer camps in the nation take some or all of the following safety precautions:
- Staff trained in first-aid/CPR
- Medical protocols and guidelines approved by a physician and followed by all staff
- High counselor-to-camper ratio
- Crisis management plan in the event of an emergency
- Medication management protocols
- Medical and overall health evaluations for each camper
- Safe, durable and weather-appropriate gear
- Guidelines about hydration and medical checks for sunburn, blisters and other common camp ailments
- Appropriate accreditation and licensing
- In-depth screening process for counselors and staff
- Multiple forms of communication in case of emergency (e.g., cell phone, radio, GPS)
- 24-hour supervision and accessibility to medical care
- Regular communication with and updates for parents
There are hundreds of options when it comes to overnight summer camps for teens and children. Whether you’re considering a special needs camp for children with ADHD, Asperger’s Syndrome and learning disabilities, a weight loss camp for overweight teens, a wilderness camp for troubled teens or another summer camp, your child will not only be safe, but they will be learning new skills, meeting new friends and having a blast.
The most popular summer camps for teens fill up quickly each year so start researching now and enroll your child today. Over 11 million children are looking forward to summer camp this year, and now their parents can rest a little easier knowing their child is in good hands.