Sports camps are a great way for children to have fun and learn teamwork during the summer months. At the same time, though, it's vitally important for parents to know the safety standards of the sports camp their child is attending. Injuries during activities are quite common in such settings, and the possibility of heat stroke rises to dangerous levels.
In order to keep children safe at sports camps, let's establish a checklist of measures and procedures that should be in place to minimize hidden hazards to kids.
- The coach has a clear track record of good judgment.
- First aid equipment is readily available. Injuries happen on a regular basis in sports. Does your child's sports camp have neck stabilizers, windpipe openers, tourniquets and antibiotic creams on hand? These are mandatory.
- A certified trainer is on staff and present. It's recommended that children's coaches be certified in CPR.
- A concussion protocol is established. Coaches should know how to check for a concussion, when to call a physician and what indicators would disqualify a child from further participation in the game.
- A hydration protocol is established. The American College of Sports Medicine has found that two-thirds of children arrived for sports practice significantly dehydrated. Kids need a continuous supply of water, especially during the summer months.
- Protective gear is up-to-date and always used. Sports camps should always have clean, functioning helmets and other protective devices as mandatory gear whenever necessary.
- The coach has complete knowledge of children's health conditions and medications. A medical form with doctor's consent is typically submitted to a coach. It's important to note any conditions that could affect a child's health during physical activities.
- A school sports camp should have a designated ambulance transport company to be specified when calling 911. The coach and school should also know the distance to the nearest hospitals and determine which are suitable depending on the severity of an injury.
The cost of ignoring the above standards can be tragic, so let's make a point of meeting or even exceeding them. Observing these rules will make for a safer and more fun sports camp experience for your child.