Summer Camp Safety

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It’s time to prepare your grandchild for a safe camping experience

Brenda Zofrea

Brenda Zofrea

Summer camp is a 150-year-old tradition that more than 10 million children in the U.S. participate in — and it’s right around the corner. The 2012 Accreditation Standards issued by the American Camping Association mandate staff screenings, criminal background checks and a check of the National Sex Offender Public Website for those who have responsibility for or access to campers.

However, we can, and must, do more to help ensure our grandchildren’s safety at camp. Many predators pass screenings because they simply haven’t been caught yet. Make sure your grandchild knows these safety rules:

• Never keep a secret with an adult

• It’s OK to get help with your private parts if you’re hurt, dirty or sick

• Stick with a buddy and stay with your group

• Tell a counselor or someone who is in charge if anyone touches you, or asks you to touch them, in an uncomfortable way

As long as you’re helping to keep their bodies safe, don’t forget to pack sunblock, hand sanitizer, and allergy meds if needed. Remember, just one blistering sunburn anytime during childhood through adolescence will more than double the chance of developing skin cancer. So whether your grandchild attends a day camp, goes to a sleepaway camp or hangs out at your community pool or recreation center, these simple rules can help keep your grandchildren safe from the top of their heads to the tips of their toes!

Brenda Zofrea, M.A.Ed., is the author of Let’s B Safe for children 3 and up. Visit letsbsafe.com for contact information or to purchase Let’s B Safe.

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