With Memorial Day just around the corner, kids are going to be getting out of school soon, and parents are going to start enrolling their kids in various summer camps. But whether that camp is of the sports or the plain outdoor variety, parents must take pains to make sure their children won’t be put in danger while they’re away from home. A report out of Ohio explains the steps that parents might take in order to ensure their children are in the right hands at camp.
When you sign you’re children up for camp, you’re basically entrusting their safety to strangers. As such, you might speak with camp organizers to learn a little bit more about the hiring procedures in place and the track record of those who are going to be responsible for your child’s wellbeing.
Every camp should put their employees or volunteers through a rigorous screening process complete with an interview and a criminal background check. Administrators should confirm the legitimacy of any references and even conduct a search on the National Sex Offender database.
Once a camp counselor or some other type of employee is hired, they should be adequately trained. That includes careful review of written materials detailing what to do in emergency and suspected abuse situations and in-person training that can also help a camp worker to prevent, identify, and report child abuse. Responsible adults should not only supervise employees but also offer continuous training throughout the duration of the camp and react to any suspicious circumstances that might crop up.
Not only should the number of staff members be adequate to ensure the proper supervision of all child participants, but each employee should know at least basic first aid and CPR procedures. This becomes especially important when intense physical activities will be commonplace or contact sports will be played. Trainers should be on hand to deal with particularly strenuous injuries, and one shouldn’t hesitate to call emergency responders if a situation is particularly serious. Supervision should also extend to off-activity hours, as kids and teens have a tendency to engage in horseplay that could prove to be just as dangerous as sanctioned sports activities.
Parents should also check up on action plans that are meant to go into place when certain hazardous situations crop up. When a serious weather emergency tears through, or a child goes missing, all employees should know their role and act at once to ensure that the safety of all can be assured. When camp begins, operators might even take the time to run child campers through some safety drills that will enlighten them as to the proper steps to take during an emergency.