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A Safe Summer Camp Requires a Well-Run Waterfront

As previously reported in this blog, one of the leading causes of injuries and death to children are drownings and near-drownings. Accordingly, parents should be certain that the system established at the summer camp to which they are sending their children is adequate in concept, fully implemented and supervised appropriately. Basic elements of pool safety require the following:

1. Each child should be tested to determine the level of their swimming competence.

2. Each child should be identified with an armband or similar device to identify that child's swimming capabilities. (e.g. non-swimmers should have a red arm band)

3. Everyone in charge of the child should know and understand the swimming competence of each child under their supervision whether the individual is a camp counselor or a lifeguard.

4. All children should be gathered together, before entering the pool for the first time, and all pool rules should be reviewed carefully to assure that each child understands the rules.

5. The pool should be separated to divide the shallow end (usually an area of 3' or less) from the deep end.

6. Only lifeguards adequately certified in life-saving techniques should be permitted to serve in that capacity and counselors, although they may be on guard to watch their campers, when in the water, cannot be delegated the responsibility appropriately assigned to trained and certified lifeguards.

7. Counselors needs to be trained in their duties while the campers are in the water.