By: Allan M. Siegel
Many of our clients choose day camps for their children to attend for all
or part of the summer. Parents generally assume that the camps are well-operated
and that safety is a primary concern. Unfortunately, camps frequently
employ paraprofessionals and teenagers to take care of your children.
These individuals may not have had adequate training, or any training
at all, in the care of children.
Of particular concern are activities in which children are in danger of
injury and the capabilities of the counselors and others, such as lifeguards,
to ensure that children will be safe. The abilities of summer camp staff
are especially important when camps offer an array of activities or services
that pose hazards to children, especially when there is inadequate supervision
- Swimming and other water sports / activities
- Horseback riding
- Sports, including cycling, football, and skateboarding
- Crafts that require tools or sharp objects
- Playground equipment
We suggest you obtain a set of the training materials provided to counselors
and that you read those materials carefully. In the event you feel there
are concerns that have not been addressed during the training programs,
you should feel free to ask questions. Additionally, you should determine
the organizations and associations that the camp belongs to. You should
check with this association as well as with your local county and state
agencies that license, govern, and monitor camps to determine if the camp
you are selecting for your child has been the subject of any complaint
and whether any children have been injured due to a finding by a state
or local agency of the negligence of that camp or its employees.
To aid you in determining the safety of a camp, here are a few questions
you can ask:
- What is the counselor to camper ratio?
- What are the ages, backgrounds, training, and certifications (CPR and concussion
recognition) of counselors?
- Is safety equipment provided to campers?
- What is the protocol for emergencies, injuries, or medications?
Summer camp can be a great way for children to socialize and expand their
experiences in life, but parents always want to ensure that their children
enjoy these experiences as safely as possible. They also have the right
to expect that summer camps and staff will take reasonable measures to
ensure the safety of their kids. In the event that they do not, and fail
in their duty to provide safe premises, safety equipment, proper supervision,
or other duties that ensure safety, summer camps may be held liable for
injuries campers suffer as a result. To hold a summer camp liable, victims
and their families will need to pursue a
personal injury case based on premises liability.
If you have questions about summer camp injuries and your rights, Chaikin,
Sherman, Cammarata & Siegel, P.C. is available to help. The individual
facts of a case will determine whether you have a potential case, which
is why a personalized evaluation is important. Our legal team serves clients
throughout Maryland, Virginia, and Washington, D.C. and offers free consultation.
Contact us today to discuss a potential case.