For many families, summer camp can be a great way for kids to do fun engaging activities while school's out. And usually, most camps set aside time for swimming as a fun way for kids to cool off in the often brutal summer heat. However, the risk of drowning is a very real and scary threat to kids in camp.
Many times, drownings happen from a lack of supervision from the camp staff, regardless of whether or not the kids know how to swim. Even skilled swimmers are at risk of drowning. Examples of how that might happen, are when a swimmer is unfamiliar with the area or type of water they're swimming in.
For example, if a swimmer who's used to swimming in pools goes into a river that has a strong current, they can quickly get swept up. We also see drownings when kids play games like holding their breath underwater or participating in dangerous activities like chicken fight. It's up to the people in charge to prevent drownings from happening.
What we mean by this is:
-First, there should always be trained lifeguards on duty by the swimming area.
-Second, camp counselors should be thoroughly trained on knowing the risk of drowning, how to spot the wrist, and how to make sure the swimming area is safe.
-And finally, every staff member should know what action to take if they see a child drowning. Additionally, camp directors must make sure that staff have zero distractions during swim time. This means not engaging in conversations with coworkers not looking away or at their phones and always keeping a close eye on the swimming area of fatal drowning. It can happen quickly.
It's never okay to leave a child on supervised while they're swimming. Drownings are 100% preventable, and if your child was harmed in a drowning incident at a summer camp, those who let this happen need to be held accountable. If you have more questions, contact us. We're here to help your family keep moving forward.