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Summer Camp Safety

Summer Camp Safety

7/10/2017 9:00:00 AM

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More than 14 million children and adults attend a camp each year in the U.S., according to the American Camp Association. These can be overnight or day camps, and can involve specialized activities - such as sports camp - or may be more generalized in nature. The following are key safeguards to have in place, with links to more in-depth resources.

  • Educate campers/parents before your camp begins on your rules and have waivers signed prior to the start of camp.
  • Have measures in place to address injured and sick campers. For what illnesses will you send a camper home? Are all staff trained in first aid and CPR? Have response equipment and supplies ready to go.
  • Teach and encourage good hygiene, including sneezing/coughing into sleeve and hand washing.
  • Require appropriate shoe wear (to help prevent slips, trips, and falls) and clothing (for insect, sun, and plant exposure) for the activity.
  • Ensure campers and staff are trained on heat stress symptoms, keep them hydrated, and keep them protected with sunscreen.
  • Ensure proper food safety is in place, such as appropriate storage and cooking temperatures, no cross-contamination, and proper hygiene of food handlers.
  • Establish and enforce rules to prevent sexual abuse; train staff on recognizing the grooming process and how to report unsafe activities.
  • For physical activities, all staff should be trained and provide adequate coverage for supervision. Equipment should be designed and installed per manufacturer's recommendations, and should be inspected, tested, and in good condition. Rules must be established and enforced, and emergency response needs to be considered ahead of time and ready to go if needed.

Additional Resources
PHLY has found that many claims involving camps occur due to staff not being trained or rules not being enforced. To assist with your educational and other safety needs, PHLY has the following resources available to our policyholders:

Our YMCA Risk Management Guidebook contains information on many topics relevant to camps. PHLY agents and policyholders can access more risk reduction information, tools, and training from PHLY's Risk Management Services by logging into your MyPHLY account and selecting Risk Management Services.

IMPORTANT NOTICE - The information and suggestions presented by Philadelphia Indemnity Insurance Company in this E-Brochure is for your consideration in your loss prevention efforts. They are not intended to be complete or definitive in identifying all hazards associated with your business, preventing workplace accidents, or complying with any safety related, or other, laws or regulations. You are encouraged to alter them to fit the specific hazards of your business and to have your legal counsel review all of your plans and company policies.