Is it safe to send your children to summer camps?

With schools and daycares closing due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many parents are anxious to send their children to summer camp but aren’t sure if it’s safe. 

The CDC and the American Camp Association (in affiliation with the YMCA) have both released guidelines to help camps decide when to reopen and to learn how to minimize risk. They outline how to keep campers and staff safe and how to keep facilities disinfected.

Guidelines emphasize keeping the same small group of campers together for the duration of camp, practicing hand sanitation and respiration hygiene, and wearing face masks. They also recommend increasing cleaning procedures, discouraging sharing objects between campers, and staggering schedules to keep small groups of campers away from other groups. Some camps might even restrict enrollment to only local campers.

For staff, guidelines recommend training employees on how to properly use and dispose of personal protective equipment. They also encourage flexible time-off policies for employees who have pre-existing conditions, who may have been exposed to the virus, or who have been caring for a loved one who is sick.

Camps must also act in accordance with local coronavirus prevention measures. While some day camps are planning on opening this summer with proper precautions, some overnight camps have decided it would be too risky to reopen. Plenty of camps are going virtual instead.

While these guidelines will help camps operate in a safe and healthy manner, there is still a risk of catching COVID-19 when you expand your social circle. Unfortunately, no one knows just how risky summer camp might be.

Is it safe:

Sources: CDC, American Camp Association, Today

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