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Safety Tips For Sending Your Child to Summer Camp

Sending your child away to summer camp, you want to make sure they are going to be as safe as possible while they’re away. Whether it’s a day camp or a sleepaway, the owners of camps have legal responsibilities to maintain reasonable safety on their property. In this video, John Philp of Preszler Law appears on the Morning Show to speak about things parents may want to consider. If you have any questions or would like to see how our law firm might be of help to you, book a free initial consultation with our personal injury lawyers today.

LIZA: Thank you Liam. So, you’re thinking of sending your kid to summer camp, or they’re already registered - very good chance of that - but whether it’s a day trip or an overnight adventure, there are certain things you should know before you leave your wee ones at camp without you. Joining us with the Do’s, Don’ts, and all of the other questions you need to ask when assessing your camp is personal injury lawyer John Philp of Preszler Law. Good morning.

JOHN: Good morning.

LIZA: So even if your kid is in camp - we are, you know, halfway into July now - there’s still - if you haven’t done this, it’s still a good idea to go in and take a look around in a way you might not have before. 

JOHN: Well, absolutely. And if there’s - if there’s an injury at a camp, um, there’s a law in Ontario called the Occupiers’ Liability Act, and we’ve talked about this in previous segments, but it’s, it’s applicable for summer camps, be them, um, municipal summer camps, you know, maybe a City of Toronto day camp, or a sleepaway camp up north somewhere. 

LIZA: Mm-hmm.

JOHN: Uh, the Occupiers’ Liability Act would apply, and that law says that a property owner - the owner of the camp - has to make sure that the grounds are safe, that they take reasonable steps to make sure that participants at the camp are safe, and that there are no hazards at this camp. 

LIZA: That must be kind of tough to apply, I would imagine, especially like if you’re out in the wilderness and that sort of thing, and there’s just a million different things to trip on, because you’re out in the woods

JOHN: Yeah, absolutely, and, and, for any sort of circumstance it’s going to be what is reasonable in the situation, you know, you’re not going to require a camp owner to be on the lookout twenty four hours a day, every second, uh, you know, of the day, um - it’s what they’ve done to make sure that there is a system of inspection in place. So, you know, when you’re deciding for a camp for your kids, you really should be careful in terms of actually going to the camp. Talking to the director. Talking to the staff of the camp. Seeing what they have in place. And I know this may sound like overkill, but you really can’t be too careful with the safety of your children. Um, so you should be talking to them and seeing what kinds of systems they have for making sure that the premises are safe. 

LIZA: And what if your child was to get hurt by another child?

JOHN: Well, you know, it depends on the circumstances. If there’s an opportunity for these kids to be playing, and one of these children injures another child, um, due to, you know, certain activity, because the staff were not supervising those children properly, there could be a lawsuit there for failure to supervise the children properly. One of the things that is really important to remember in these cases - uh, any camp, nowadays, when you sign up, you have to sign a waiver. 

LIZA: Mm-hmm.

JOHN: As a parent, you’re going to sign this document, and for all intents and purposes it’s supposed to release the liability against the camp for any injuries caused while your children are there.

LIZA: Yeah.

JOHN: Um. In order for those liability waivers to have teeth, it really needs to specifically state that it releases the camp staff members from liability from negligence on their part. There needs to be really specific parameters. And when you’re signing that waiver, you really should not just put your signature on there. You should have it explained to you. You should have the person who’s putting it in front of you give you some direction as to exactly what you are signing.

LIZA: Right, it could get so easy to see all the legalese and just think, the kid’s registered, I already paid, okay here we go.

JOHN: Exactly - 

LIZA: And just sign -

JOHN: And you know, I definitely council against doing that, you really should read those waivers before you sign them.

LIZA: John Philp from Preszler Law, thank you so much, and if you have any personal injury questions for John and his team at Preszler, visit our Facebook page at Here’s a look at traffic now. Hi Kim.
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