The race is on...the annual summer camp registration event...the goal? To choose the right activities that are being attended by the right friends and are offered in time frames that fit the summer plans of the rest of the family (including one or both working parent's vacation schedules). Winning this race means that parents must be FIRST in line with flawlessly filled out paperwork, documentation of physical readiness, and a pediatrician's stamp of approval. Oftentimes parents get so focused on the registration frenzy that they forget to take the time to thoroughly research the programs they are enrolling their children in.
"It's not that parents don't care about safety", says Stephen Daley, Executive Director of radKIDS,"It's just that we mistakenly make the assumption that it's a given that the camp will be a safe place for our children. But the reality is there are no federal regulations when it comes to camps."
Did you know that only 25 percent of camps in the United States are accredited (meaning they meet the 300 health and safety standards set by the association)?
Read more in radKIDS ON...Summer Camp Safety (in the column on the right).
The term camp has no legal definition or standards associated with it. Any organization can legally call themselves a camp so it's a mistake to think that because someone is employed by a summer program that you should trust them with the safety of your children. The rules vary greatly from state-to-state.