Objective: To determine the compliance of US camps with guidelines for health and safety practices as set forth by the American Academy of Pediatrics and the US Department of Homeland Security. Methods: An electronic questionnaire was distributed to US camps during the summer of 2012 as identified by 3 online summer camp directories. Results: Analysis was performed on 433 completed questionnaires. Fourteen percent of camps were considered medically related. Ninetythree percent of camps have established relationships with community emergency medical services, 34% with local orthodontists, and 37% with local mental health professionals. Camps reported the immediate availability of the following: automated external defibrillators (75%), respiratory rescue inhalers (44%), epinephrine autoinjectors (64%), cervical spine collars (62%), and backboard with restraints (76%). Camps reported the presence of the following written health policies: dehydration (91%), asthma and anaphylaxis (88%), head injuries (90%), seizures (78%), cardiac arrest (76%), and drowning (73%). Although 93% of camps have a disaster response plan, 15% never practice the plan. Sixty-eight percent of camps are familiar with community evacuation plans, and 67% have access to vehicles for transport. Camps reported the presence of the following written disaster policies: fire (96%), tornadoes (68%), arrival of suspicious individuals (84%), hostage situations (18%). Conclusions: Areas for improvement in the compliance of US camps with specific recommendations for health and safety practices were identified, such as medically preparing campers before their attendance, developing relationships with community health providers, increasing the immediate availability of several emergency medications and equipment, and developing policies and protocols for medical and disaster emergencies.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
- Emergency Medicine