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Summer Camp Injuries- Who Is Liable?

There are more than 14,000 camps in operation in the US. Eight thousand four hundred of these are sleep-away while the rest serve as day camps. And each year, more than 14 million people attend one of these for some portion of their vacation. With countless outdoor activities, amazing counselors and loads of friends, it’s no wonder that for many children, summer camp is the best part of the year.

Each year, you may find your child begging to return to camp for their summer’s parent and school-free getaway. However, no matter their age, entrusting someone with your child for an extended amount of time may provoke concern for their safety. While summer camp injuries are typically rare, it is important to know what to do in the case that your child is involved in an accident while away from your care.

Common summer camp injuries:

An infectious illness is by far the most common incident your child could encounter while at camp. Sleeping in close quarters with other children will increase their chances of picking up some sort of sickness. However, these are often minor and unalarming. Besides illness, falls, cuts, and collisions account for the largest portion of camp-inflicted injuries. Camps are usually located in remote and forested areas. And as such, their surrounding property is likely made up of hills, trees, and overgrown vegetation, increasing the likelihood of various accidents. Other common injuries include rashes, bug bites, and sunburns.

Determining Liability:

If your child is injured while away, you may be eligible for a lawsuit. However, when dealing with summer camps, it can be especially challenging to determine liability. It will primarily depend on the type of injury incurred and the circumstances by which it happened. And since most camps operate under premises liability, they are expected to provide activities and facilities that minimize one’s risk of injury. However, finding a camp liable can become exceptionally difficult with a parent-signed waiver, issued by most camps. With this signed agreement, camps can argue that the parent and child were aware of the potential risks of the child’s participation. In determining liability, the specific facts of what took place as well as the role of each individual involved with the camper’s injury must be assessed.

Ways to keep your children safe at camp this summer:
  • Do your research. Make sure to send your kids to a camp accredited by the American Camp Association. This accreditation will ensure that the camp has met rigorous safety standards, including appropriate staff-to-camper ratios, emergency action plans, as well as emergency transportation and first aid trained staff onsite.
  • Understand the types of activities in which your kids will be participating. If you require more information, reach out to the camp, and they will be able to answer your inquiries.
  • Make sure your child is equipped and prepared to attend this particular camp. Take note if the camp involves wilderness camping and backpacking. This will offer a rugged experience for which your child should be thoroughly prepared.

Summer camp offers a myriad of adventures and experiences. Your children will likely gain a sense of independence,  a love for the outdoors, and many new friends. However, we understand that it is your priority to keep them safe. So be sure to send them with proper preparation and informed research. And in the case that they suffer an injury while at camp, do not hesitate to call on us at Peach and Weathers for expert legal consultation. We are here to advocate for you and your children in all aspects of life.

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