During fall and winter break, Florida parents often rely on camps for childcare during the workday. Although these camps can be an enjoyable and beneficial experience for school-age children, they also come with a risk of injury.
Knowing what to watch for before sending your kid to one of these camps can help prevent an accident. Further, if your child does happen to be injured, it is important to handle the incident appropriately, particularly if the injury could have been prevented if it wasn’t for the negligence of the camp’s staff or another party.
Below, we provide a guide for how to keep your kids safe from camp or daycare injuries, and what to do in the event that your child does happen to get injured.
Common Injuries at Florida School Break Camps
Most school break camps offer a wide variety of activities to keep kids engaged in the experience, or they may focus on a certain activity (for example, sports-specific camps). However, these activities can result in injuries, especially if camp staff are not properly trained, or do not closely monitor children.
Playground injuries result in approximately 200,000 emergency room visits annually. Children may become injured by falling or being pushed off of playground equipment. This can result in fractures, strains, sprains, dislocations, cuts, and bruises.
You can decrease the risk of playground injuries by talking to the camp organizers to ensure that equipment is well-maintained, and that children are adequately supervised during play. You should also teach your child ahead of time to follow playground rules.
Camps often include special activities – for example, hikes, horseback riding, zip lining, or sports. Depending on the nature of the activity in question, your child could sustain a serious injury while participating in camp activities.
Talk to the camp organizers ahead of time about safety precautions, and about child supervision during camp activities. If there’s a particular activity that you feel may be unsafe, ask that your child not participate in this activity.
If you are sending your child to a sports camp, ask his or her regular coach about the camp to see if it’s recommended. Also, talk to the camp organizers about safety equipment, and to ensure that proper warmup and cooldown procedures are always practiced.
Violence and Bullying
Unfortunately, violence and bullying among school-age children is both a common occurrence and a frequent cause of camp and school injuries. Bullying can be psychologically traumatic for children, and may result in a serious, debilitating injury.
To help prevent bullying and violence injuries, talk to camp staff about what precautions are taken to prevent these occurrences, and how well children will be supervised. Speaking to your child ahead of time about bullying can also help. Make sure your child knows that it’s okay to talk to you or to teachers if he or she is being bullied by a peer.
What to Do If Your Child Is Injured at a Florida Camp
An injury at school or camp can be traumatic for your child. If you feel that the injury could have been prevented but for the camp’s negligence, consider holding the camp organizer accountable in a personal injury lawsuit. This can help address financial concerns arising from your child’s injury, as well as provide some sense of closure for what was no doubt traumatic for the entire family.
Holding the camp organizers accountable for their negligent actions will also put pressure on them to change their procedures, preventing further injury to other children in the future.
About the Author:
Andrew Winston is a partner at the personal injury law firm of Winston Law. For over 20 years, he has successfully represented countless people in all kinds of personal injury cases, with a particular focus on child injury, legal malpractice, and premises liability. He has been recognized for excellence in the representation of injured clients by admission to the Million Dollar Advocates Forum, is AV Preeminent Rated by the Martindale-Hubbell Law Directory, enjoys a 10.0 rating by AVVO as a Top Personal Injury Attorney, has been selected as a Florida “SuperLawyer” from 2011-2017 – an honor reserved for the top 5% of lawyers in the state – and was voted to Florida Trend’s ”Legal Elite” and as one of the Top 100 Lawyers in Florida and one of the Top 100 Lawyers in the Miami area for 2015, 2016, and 2017.