Director Jud's Blog

The Importance of Water Safety at Teen Camps and Ways to Ensure Safety

Posted by Jenny Holt on Sun, Jul 22, 2018

Cool Summer Camp Experiences: Why Water Safety Is Important

Every year more than 14 million children and adults attend camps in the US. Summer Camps promote a variety of activities including water sports which are very popular.

Picture of a female Camper swimming with a life jacketUnfortunately, there is the potential for accidental drowning anytime people are in and around water. The CDC reports that 10 people die from unintentional drowning each day in America and 2 are children 14 years or younger. In support of National Drowning Prevention Month in May, water safety awareness in camps is encouraged to reduce accidents. Close supervision of all campers especially young ones and those with limited swimming abilities is essential when in or around a body of water. For parents, ensuring that your child’s camp is properly accredited and is staffed with trained personnel are just few of the things that you can do to protect them. Parents can also begin general safety lessons at home. Drowning and water mishaps are preventable if the proper precautions are taken on both sides.

Safety in the Water Begins with Swimming Lessons

Swimming lessons are valuable lifelong skills that everyone should know. A 2017 USA Swimming Foundation Study found out that although the overall swimming skills of children have improved from 5-10% compared to the results in 2010, there is still a lot of work to be done. About 64% of African-Americans, 45% of Hispanics and 40% of Caucasian children have little to no swimming abilities making them at high risk for drowning. Putting kids to swimming camps can help build an important life skill. Although swimming lessons help prevent drowning, it is nearly impossible to completely drown-proof your child when they are at camp. Camp staff must provide close supervision to all campers to ensure their safety especially when doing water sports or recreation activities.

Parents Do Their Part

Pa-summer-camps-for-teensParent also usually inspect the facilities before signing-up their children to the best camps. Making sure that they are accredited and assessing the staff to camper ratio are some aspects that must be considered. Close supervision is instrumental in preventing water accidents among young adults. In addition, during water sports activities, proper precautions should be taken such as wearing of life vests while in a boat or while rowing/kayaking. Boats must also have the necessary equipment including flotation devices. Talking to the camp’s management about staff training adequacy, experiences, facilities and safety practices can help guardians and parents ascertain whether to entrust their kids to them or not.

Safety Awareness Begins at Home

Picture of Campers putting on their life jackets It’s never too early to teach your kids about safety whether they are home or outside of the premises. While camp will certainly teach them many life skills that they will keep, it is also up to parents to instruct them about safety. Even if they can swim, they should not go alone. It is safer to go with a buddy. They should also inform supervisors in camp if they are going to waddle by the lakeside. If they see someone in distress, they should not just jump in to avoid an aquatic victim instead of rescuer syndrome (AVIR). Instead, they should look for something buoyant to throw to the drowning person. They must also know whom to notify and where to call for help.

Water safety and awareness are vital for a fun and memorable experience at summer camps. Enrolling kids to swimming classes and teaching them basic safety measures help reduce accidental drowning. On the part of the camp staff, being able to supervise participants closely all the time is essential especially when around water bodies or while doing water activities.


Topics: Teen Sleep Away Camp, Water safety

About Director Jud's Blog

This blog will give you the "411" about everything that is Stone Mountain Adventures Teen Summer Camp!  Everything from "Summer Updates" to useful family and camp resources.  Check it out! 

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