Children’s summer day camps provide kids with a place to go during the day when school is out and parents aren’t home. Parents rely on these camps to offer their kids a place to play games, learn new things, and make new friends. When you sign your kid up for a day camp, you expect that counselors, volunteers, and other staff members can be trusted with their safety. Sadly, not every summer day camp holds up their end of the bargain and occasionally, children get injured in preventable accidents.
Common Day Camp Accidents
When proper safety rules are followed, summer day camps can be a safe and enriching environment for children. But when staff members fail to prioritize safety, serious accidents can occur.and kids can get hurt.
Some common day camp accidents include:
Slips, Trips, and Falls
Day camps give kids a space to be active. When kids are frequently running around the grounds, playing sports, and engaging in other physical activities, it’s important to watch out for slipping and tripping hazards, such as debris or spilled liquids. Unexpected falls can cause serious injuries, and children and the elderly are especially vulnerable to the impact of a fall.
Playground Equipment Accidents
Playground equipment should be regularly inspected and maintained in order to prevent accidents. A fall from a jungle gym, slide, or other piece of playground equipment may cause serious injuries, ranging from bruises, cuts, and scrapes to broken bones and brain and spinal cord injuries. Some falls may be the result of defective equipment, in which case the manufacturer could be held liable under product liability.
Drowning and Swimming Pool Accidents
If a day camp has a swimming pool or other body of water, supervision is key. Kids swim at different levels, and some children may overestimate their abilities. Camps must have trained lifeguards on staff who can respond to kids who are drowning or need help. The area surrounding the pool should also be well-maintained to prevent slip and fall accidents.
Heatstroke, Sunburn, and Dehyrdration
While spending the day outdoors is usually a good thing for kids, it’s important to stay safe. Camp counselors should make sure that kids have access to sunscreen and that they’re drinking plenty of water. In extreme heat, staff members should closely supervise kids to make sure no one is showing symptoms of heat stroke. They should also have a first aid plan in place in case a child does become ill or injured due to excessive heat and sun.
The state of New York requires summer camps to conduct background checks before hiring staff members. Sexual predators often seek positions which involve working with children and there have been nationwide reports of children being sexually abused in summer camps. A Long Island summer camp counselor was recently arrested for sexually abusing young campers. If a summer camp fails to protect a child from physical, verbal, or sexual abuse, they could be held liable in a personal injury lawsuit.
When Can A Day Camp Be Held Liable For Child Injuries?
In order to sue a day camp for your child’s injury, you must prove that the injury was directly caused by negligence. Day camps owe a duty of care to guests and their parents. When you drop your child off at one of these camps, the camp is obligated to do all that they can to ensure your child’s safety. If the staff fails to fulfill this duty, they could be held liable in a lawsuit.
Common forms of day camp negligence include:
- Failure to properly supervise children
- Inadequate maintenance of equipment
- Allowing slip and fall hazards to go unaddressed
- Failure to provide safety gear for sports and physical activities
- Failure to provide sun-protective goods, such as sunscreen
- Employees not trained in first-aid and how to handle emergencies
Determining liability can be a complex process. If you suspect that your child’s injury was caused by day camp negligence, you should consider meeting with one of Lipsig’s experienced personal injury lawyers to discuss the details of your case. We offer free initial consultations, and only require payment if and when we help you earn compensation.