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Summer Camp Injuries: Can You Sue?

Many parents send their children to camp during the summer months to afford them an opportunity to socialize and spend their time productively. Most camps have outdoor programs that the campers participate in, such as swimming, boating, hiking, and athletic activities. With such activities comes the risk of injuries. Most camps will have you sign a waiver of liability which protects them from injuries arising from such scenarios. However, such waivers may not be enforceable due to circumstances arising from negligence.

Some common camp injuries include:

  • Poison ivy/oak/sumac rashes
  • Insect bites
  • Sprains, fractures, or broken bones
  • Cuts, wounds, and bruises
  • Sun burn or campfire burn
  • Illness

Many of these injuries may result during the normal course of camp activities. The Center for Disease Control estimates that 50% of nonfatal children's injuries result from falling. However, camp counselors have a duty to ensure that serious injuries do not occur. Many of the injuries common to campers can be prevented by taking the proper safety and health precautions. Some measures camp counselors should take to reduce the risk of sickness or injury include:

  • Proper supervision
  • Ensure that campers wear appropriate shoes for the activity to minimize falls
  • Make sure that campers wear sun protective gear and sunscreen
  • Camp counselors should carry a first aid kit and know first aid, including CPR
  • Camp counselors should ensure that proper hygiene is followed and make sure that campers wash their hands regularly
  • Knives and other sharp objects should be properly stored and used in a safe manner
  • Make sure campers are well hydrated
  • Ensure that the appropriate protective gear is used accordingly in each activity

Some camp injuries are unavoidable. However, if you find that your child's camp counselor did not exercise due care in supervising your child, you may be able to state a claim for negligence. Contact an experienced personal injury attorney who can advise you of your legal rights. Call the attorneys at Sakkas, Cahn & Weiss, LLP at (212) 571-7171.

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