Health, safety standards for summer camps - WBRC FOX6 News - Birmingham, AL

Health, safety standards for summer camps

When your child leaves for summer camp, how can you be sure they'll be safe? (Source: MGN-Online) When your child leaves for summer camp, how can you be sure they'll be safe? (Source: MGN-Online)
HUNTSVILLE, AL (WAFF) -

When your child leaves for summer camp, how can you be sure they'll be safe?

In Alabama, camps must be licensed to operate. One of the two required permits deals with the campgrounds. That is everything from the dorms, to the camp equipment. The other deals specifically with the kitchen. Camp kitchens must meet every requirement that a standing restaurant does.

Inspections are done by county health departments. Alabama Director of food and lodging, Mark Sestak said the goal is for each camp to be inspected twice a year. The frequency is determined by the man-power in the county. An inspection is generally done before the camp opens.

If you want to see a copy of the inspections, you must request a physical copy from the county. They are not available online.

According to the American Camp Association (ACA), Alabama does not require criminal background checks of camp employees. It is up to the camp to do background checks and up to parents to look into the information before sending children to a particular camp.

Of the 30 day and overnight camps in Alabama listed on the ACA website, 22 are accredited. A camp must have a license to operate, but doesn't have to be accredited.

Camps must meet more than 300 standards for accreditation. Some of those standards include things like staff to camper ratios, emergency transportation and first-aid availability. It also required a staff screening system. The ACA accreditation is recognized by courts of law, government bodies and as a standard for camps.

Bottom line: Do your research before sending your child to camp. Ask questions about the things that are important to you. 

 

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