As the last chill winds of the long Canadian winter fade away, the thoughts of parents across British Columbia begin to turn to plans for the summer. For those with children, this often means summer camp.
If the traditional camp experience of boating, hiking and campfire sings are what you’re after, there are plenty available (here’s an extensive list), but as with so many activities for children, camps have become increasingly specialized. Science Venture Camps at the University of Victoria offer a variety of science-themed sessions, while offering an introduction to rock climbing for kids ages 7 to 18.
Regardless of what kinds of activities are on the schedule, though, there are some basic safety considerations that parents of every camper should review with their children before sending them off on summer adventures.
Hydration. Summer days in British Columbia can be hot and humid. Dehydration can happen quickly and can lead to heat exhaustion or even heatstroke, which is potentially life-threatening. Be sure your child has enough water available and remind him or her to drink it even before he or she feels thirsty.
Water Safety. If a swim session is on the schedule, be sure that the pool or lake will be supervised by at least one adult who has completed a training course. Even a shallow pool can be dangerous for younger kids, so be sure you are confident that all water sports are adequately supervised.
Stay Street Safe. Not all camps are in the woods, and even those in which tents are the rule may include field trips to urban areas. Remind your child to be alert to traffic. To walk only on the sidewalk and to look both ways before crossing the street. A more recent danger that’s even found among adults is distraction caused by mobile devices. If your child has a mobile device at camp (and most do these days), be sure to set some limits on use, especially when he or she is out and about.
Proper Clothing. Whether it’s just for the day or several weeks of “sleep away” camp, be sure your child has clothing for any foreseeable weather, including storms. Sturdy footwear (broken in before camp starts) is especially important if woodland or other hikes are on tap.
Sunscreen and Bug Repellent. After a long Canadian winter indoors, most kids are at risk of sunburn. Often, they are having too much fun to notice the telltale redness until it’s too late. Apply a high-SPF factor kid-safe and water-resistant sunscreen to your day camper each morning, and remind your sleep away camper to do the same for him or herself before setting off on the day’s adventures.
Bites from ticks, flies and other pests are painful and may lead to serious illness. Send along a quality spray containing DEET (the Canadian Health Ministry has found this compound is safe if used as directed) and teach your child how to recognize ticks and other potentially serious bites.
Stick Together. When hiking in the woods, be sure to stay with your group. It’s a good idea to carry a whistle to signal searchers in case you do become separated or lost.
British Columbia Accident Lawyers
Summer camp experiences can make pleasant memories that last a lifetime, but accidents can and do occur. If your child is injured at camp, Diamond and Diamond is ready to help. Call our 24/7 injury hotline at 1-800-567-HURT or visit our website to speak to someone now. We offer free consultations and case evaluations. Our team of personal injury lawyers represents clients throughout British Columbia.
My kid got hurt at summer camp, but I had signed a liability waiver -- can I still sue?
Yes, you can sue even though you had signed a liability waiver. It is possible, depending on the cause of the injury. If the summer camp could have avoided the damage, you are legible to sue. It is important to note that waivers do not exonerate off a company’s responsibilities, business, or a summer camp to provide safe equipment and a protected environment. Waivers require you to take a personal initiative to ensure your safety but not careless service providers’ responsibility.
Can I sue if my kid got an allergic reaction while at summer camp?
Filing a lawsuit will depend on whether the summer camp was aware of your child’s allergic condition, and due to negligence, exposing your child to the same allergen you had cautioned them on. If the summer camp is not aware of your child’s allergies, and unfortunately, there is an allergic reaction, you and your child will be held responsible. Before sending your child to camp, make sure he or she understands his or her allergic condition. Give your child allergic medicine, and let the summer camp know of your child’s allergies.
My kid disobeyed the rules and got hurt as a result -- is the summer camp still liable?
The summer camp is not liable if your child got hurt by his own disobedience. Even if you file a case, the court cannot reward disobedience. Your effort will be fruitless. The summer camp will come out clear of your child’s failure to follow the laid down rules and as a result, got hurt. Advice your child before going on a summer camp to follow the rules to the letter.