Choose your child’s summer camp responsibly!

One of the most useful ways for a child to spend his/her summer vacation is go to different camps. Health Inspectorate (hereinafter, Inspectorate) reminds: to spare yourself from worrying about a child while he/she is in the camp, research camp-related information in advance and make the necessary preparations.

Camps/List of camps section of www.nometnes.gov.lv, a web-page run by the National Centre for Education, contains a list of all children’s camps registered in 2014. This site allows everyone to check whether the camp they have chosen for their kid is safe. Does it meet all relevant standards? Does it have all permits and approvals from State Firefighting and Rescue Service, [1] Food and Veterinary Service [2] and the Inspectorate? [3].
Inspectorate reminds: check the camp yourself before you sign contract. Walk around the surroundings, check whether rooms (especially sanitary rooms) are clean, tidy and properly equipped (everything works, toilet paper supplied). Make sure kids can wash hands before meals and after toilet (everything works, soap, towels or hand-dryers supplied). Check the playground and sports accessories for damages and secure fastening, ask for first aid procedures and whether emergency service phone numbers are visibly displayed.
Parents must not forget to visit family doctor (or paediatrician) and obtain a health certificate within 10 days (but not earlier) before going to the camp. Certificate must contain all relevant health information about your child: vaccination history, pediculosis (head lice) checks, allergies, chronic diseases and use of special medication.
In 2013, Inspectorate issued permits to 903 new camps, 19% more compared to previous year. Two camp operators were denied permit. Altogether Inspectorate made 96 scheduled checks of camps across the country.
Minor irregularities were identified in 37 camps. Most irregularities were related to certificates issued by family physicians. In several cases camp operators failed to comply with a requirement to provide visibly displayed contacts of medical practitioners or institutions (including staff members) contracted to provide medical services to children in the camp.

[1]  ­State Firefighting and Rescue Service opinion regarding fire safety measures implemented by operator at camp location;
[2] Document ascertaining the registration of caterer with Food and Veterinary Service;
[3] Health Inspectorate’s opinion regarding hygiene measures implemented by operator at camp location.