Summer is in full swing, and it may be time to send the kids off to an Oklahoma sleepover camp for a week or two. Time in the outdoors, with friends both old and new, probably will be the highlight of the summer for them.
However, there are a few precautions you should take:
- Give the camp and your kids an up-to-date list of emergency contacts. You probably filled out such a form months ago when you completed out the registration paperwork, but things change. That trusty neighbor could have moved, or your best friend could have switched jobs and have a new work number.
- Pack any medications that your child might need, especially allergy medications such as an Epi-Pen. Discuss any specific medical issues with the camp nurse and the counselor who will be in your child's cabin. Provide any written doctor's notes and medication permission slips that are needed.
- Check out the facilities before you leave. The time you drop off your child might be the first time you see the camp. Is the cabin where your child will sleep in good shape? Is the ladder to climb to the top bunk secure or does it have a few loose rungs? Even the seemingly smallest issues can cause big injuries. If you see something that could pose a danger, say something to the camp staff.
- If you didn't check the camp's accreditation through the American Camp Association before you registered your child, do so now. Accreditation means the camp meets rigorous standards.
- Ask questions about the staff training. Are they first aid- and CPR-certified? Have they been trained to spot and report any forms of child abuse? If you don't feel comfortable with the staff, don't leave your child there.
The registration form you signed probably contained a liability waiver. However, summer camps still can be held legally responsible for injuries and incidents under certain conditions. If your child is injured, legal action could be warranted.