Summertime in Illinois is here! Despite COVID-19, cities all over the state are transitioning to phases that will allow summer camps to open for business. Summer camps are the center of a child’s experiences while out of school. Parents put their trust in the camp’s staff to ensure that their child is safe and protected from harm while under their care. However, injuries still happen.
Summer Camp Injuries: By the Numbers
The Center for Disease Control and prevention reported:
- Drownings are the leading cause of injury death for young children ages 1 to 4, and three children die every day as a result of drowning.
- Each year in the United States, emergency departments treat more than 200,000 children ages 14 and younger for playground-related injuries. Falls at home and on the playground are a common cause of injury.
The Official Journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics reported these summer camp related statistics:
- A total of 177 camper illnesses and injuries occurred during 122,379 camper-days
- The majority of reported events were illnesses (68.0%), 11.8% of which were communicable and seen in multiple individuals at camp.
- cut/scratch/scrape were the most common diagnoses (32.0%)
- fracture (14.6%)
- sprain/strain (10.4%)
- horseback riding and capture the flag were identified as injury-producing activities
According to MFASCO Health & Safety, the most common summer camp injuries are:
- Falls and collision
- Rashes and bites; and
For a free legal consultation, call (312) 598-0739
How to Keep Your Child Safe at Summer Camp
Here are a few suggestions on how to keep your child safe during summer camp:
- Research the program/camp
- Talk to the Program directors about any activities your child should not participate in
- Prepare your child for the camp experience
- Inform the camp and your child about any potential allergies or illness that may affect your child’s ability to participate
- Ensure the program/camp has safety gear such as helmets and body pads
This is not an exhaustive list but can be a starting point for research and conversations that will ensure your child’s safety during summer camp.
Who Is Responsible if Your Child Is Injured at Camp?
This question does not have a simple answer. Most camps have you complete a waiver of liability for your child to participate in the camp. Most waivers include higher-risk activities such as horseback riding or archery. However, if the injury is unrelated to a particular higher-risk activity or the camp failed to provide safety equipment to your child, such as failing to provide a helmet for riding a bike, then the camp and its affiliates may be responsible.
Additionally, should your child become ill or injured because of a third party, such as the company responsible for providing the camp’s maintenance, then that company may be responsible.
In short, discovering who is responsible for your child’s injury at a summer camp can be very complicated. Therefore it’s important to contact an attorney as soon as possible. It’s important to remember that camps are businesses that would hope to avoid claims and lawsuits. So, it is important to thoroughly read any waiver of liability forms presented for your child to participate in the summer camp.
Should your child become ill or injured during camp and you have questions concerning who may be responsible, feel free to contact us at 312-223-1700 for a free consultation.