When you send your kid off to summer camp, you have certain expectations. The camp is taking responsibility for the safety or your child, and are guaranteeing the safety of the environment where your kid is staying. Every safety precaution must be taken to make sure your kid is not harmed, especially when dangerous activities are offered.
One very dangerous activity offered at a YMCA camp in North Carolina turned deadly on June 13th, 2015. A 12 year old girl was zip-lining when the tether holding her to the zip line broke, and she fell to her death. The zip-line had been in operation for only two years, meaning normal wear-and-tear should not have affected the tether, and it is likely that examination of the equipment ahead of time would have shown the tether was about to break.
Zip lining isn’t the only dangerous activity camps offer. Other dangerous activities include:
- Hikes, where there is the potential for falls or exposure to dangerous plants and animals
- Swimming, which always carries the risk of drowning, and which should require a lifeguard
- Campfires, particularly ones without reasonable barriers, where sparks could start further fires or a camper could stumble into the campfire
Unfortunately, many camps don’t take their responsibilities seriously. Campers are often at risk of injury, especially because there is little push to hold these camps to account when something goes wrong. Camps always declare these incidents accidents and claim nothing could have been done to prevent them. That seems unlikely.
If your child is injured or killed while at camp, it is up to you to make sure that the proper people are held to account for their actions. Until camp safety is given proper priority, camps will continue to put campers at risk. Please contact a qualified attorney to help you make the camp accept responsibility for putting campers at risk.