Title: Section 7-2.11 - Recreational safety

Effective Date

07/06/2011

7-2.11 Recreational safety. (a) Swimming. (1) Only locations approved by the permit-issuing official as part of the camp’s safety plan can be used for swimming.

(2) Adequate light must be present to effectively supervise swimming activities. Swimming shall be prohibited between sunset and sunrise at wilderness swimming sites. Lighting for indoor and nighttime swimming pool use must comply with Subpart 6-1 of this Title.

(3) Swimming pools and bathing beaches operated as part of a children's camp shall comply with Part 6 of this Title, and the following:

(i) The swimming pool or bathing beach shall be directly supervised by a camp aquatics director.

(ii) Float lines shall be provided in accordance with Subpart 6-1 or Subpart 6-2 of this Title and the swimming area shall have at least non-swimmer and swimmer areas designated. Non-swimmers shall be confined to the area appropriate to their assessed swimming ability. Non-swimmers shall be conspicuously identified to be readily distinguishable from swimmers except where non-swimmers are restricted from entering the swimmer area by a physical barrier such as a swim crib or dock, or are in a separate pool only for non-swimmers. Non-swimmers shall be restricted to water less than chest deep, except:

(a) during learn-to-swim programs that use a supervision protocol determined by the State Commissioner of Health to protect a camper from injury or drowning; or

(b) when counselors are in the water and directly supervise a maximum of three non-swimmers in shallow water in the non-swimmer area.

(iii) Permanent swimming areas shall have supervised entrances and exits, lifeguard station providing an unobstructed view of the swimming area, and lifesaving equipment. Swimming pools shall be protected by fences; entrance gates shall be locked except during periods when a lifeguard is on duty.

(iv) A Buddy System and Board System of supervising and checking bathers must be described in the camp's approved safety plan and implemented. It must include, as a minimum:

(a) an accounting system which identifies each bather by name, the bather's swimming ability and the swim area to which the bather is assigned;

(b) a method of recording the entry to and exit from the swim area for each bather;

(c) the assignment of each bather to a buddy who must have the same level of swimming ability. If a non-swimmer is paired with a swimmer, both must remain in the non-swimmer area. One threesome is allowed per swim area. Buddies shall be instructed to notify the lifeguard when their partner is in distress or is missing; and

(d) that checks of the bathers are made at least every 15 minutes. These checks are referenced against the accounting system.

When children are unable to comprehend or implement the buddy system, another method which the permit-issuing official has determined provides an equivalent level of bather safety, supervision and accountability for these children may be substituted for the buddy system and board system. The method must be described in the camp's approved safety plan.

A "lost swimmer" plan, which details all procedures to be followed, including clearing the water, searching and supervising campers present, is required and must be included in the camp's approved safety plan. The lost swimmer plan shall be implemented whenever a buddy check fails to account for all bathers and anytime a bather is reported missing.

(v) All piers, floats, platforms, and decking shall be in good repair. Clearly visible depth and other markings shall be provided in accordance with Subpart 6-1 or Subpart 6-2 of this Title.

(vi) The minimum water depth for diving boards shall be in accordance with Section 6-1.10(l) or Section 6-2.19, item 4.8.2. Swimming pool diving boards installed since July 15, 1988, shall be constructed in accordance with Section 6-1.29 item 5.6. For outdoor diving areas, the bottom shall be cleared of stumps, rocks and other obstacles. Diving boards shall be mounted on a firm foundation and the top surface shall be slip resistant.

(vii) There shall be one qualified lifeguard for every 25 bathers. Each lifeguard shall supervise no more than 3,400 square feet of pool surface area or 50 yards of shoreline at a bathing beach. At a beach where swimming or diving is permitted more than 150 feet from shore, lifesaving patrol boats or offshore lifesaving stations shall be provided.

(viii) The ratio of counselors to campers participating in activities that occur in the water shall be 1:10. For children younger than eight, the ratio shall be 1:8, except that when children are less than six years of age, the ratio shall be 1:6. Counselors shall be assigned to supervise campers and be located at the poolside, beachfront or in the water providing direct visual surveillance for such campers at all times.

(4) When swimming is conducted during camp trips including aquatic amusement park activities at a facility not owned or operated by the camp, each camper shall have a signed statement of permission to participate from a parent/guardian and the following shall be met:

(i) Except for wilderness sites, only those swimming pools and bathing beaches in New York State that have a valid permit to operate issued from the local health department having jurisdiction for the bathing facility, or those be operated by a New York State Agency may be used.

(ii) Residential swimming pool use is prohibited.

(iii) A buddy system and board system of supervising bathers shall be implemented in accordance with section 7-2.11(a)(3)(iv). All campers must have their swimming ability assessed by a progressive swimming instructor and the swimming area shall have at least non-swimmer and swimmer areas designated. Non- swimmers shall be confined to the area appropriate to their swimming ability. Non-swimmers shall be conspicuously identified to be readily distinguishable from swimmers except where non-swimmers are restricted from entering the swimmer area by a physical barrier such as a swim crib or dock or are in a separate pool for only non-swimmers. Non-swimmers shall be restricted to water less than chest deep, except:

(a) during learn-to-swim programs that use a supervision protocol determined by the State Commissioner of Health to protect a camper from injury or drowning; or

(b) when counselors are in the water and directly supervise a maximum of three non-swimmers in shallow water in the non-swimmer area.

(iv) When a camp utilizes a pool, bathing beach or an aquatic amusement park activity where the facility provides aquatic supervisory staff level I, IIa or IIb in accordance with Part 6 of this Title, the camp shall provide one qualified lifeguard, or camp staff who possesses training in children's camp swimming program safety as specified in clause (a) of this subparagraph, for each 75 campers to supervise camper bathing activities and implement the camp safety plan. A camp supplied lifeguard, or a staff possessing training in children's camp swimming program safety, is not required for aquatic amusement park activities that allow only one or two patrons in the water at a time and the activity water depth does not exceed chest deep for non-swimmers.

(a) A training course will be determined to be acceptable if, after a review by the State Health Department, the materials and training program covering those items set forth below are determined to provide camp staff with adequate training to supervise a camp trip swimming activity.

(b) Training course certification shall be valid for the time period specified by the certifying agency, but may not exceed a consecutive three-year period from course completion.

(c) Training course materials shall be submitted for review by the course sponsor and shall include minimum instructor qualifications to demonstrate that instructors possess adequate experience and knowledge in children's camp swimming program safety to effectively communicate the subject matter of this section:

(1) Injury Prevention including Communicating and Enforcing Rules

(2) Bather Surveillance Systems for Children's Camps

(i) Classifying and Identifying Bather Swimming Abilities

(ii) Swimming Area Selection

(iii) Buddy System

(iv) Buddy Board/Accountability Systems

(3) Types of Emergencies and Emergency Action Plans (EAP)

(v) Pre-arrangement must be made with an off-site facility to ensure that the facility is
capable of accommodating the additional bather load associated with the camp, to identify duties of the camp aquatic staff, and to determine whether or not the facility’s lifeguards will be present.

(vi) Minimum counselor to camper ratio shall be 1:8 for campers 6 years of age and older and 1:6 for campers younger than 6 years of age. Counselors shall be assigned to supervise campers and be located at the poolside, beachfront or in the water providing direct visual surveillance for such campers at all times.

(vii) When the camp utilizes a facility that does not provide aquatic supervisory staff level I, IIa or IIb in accordance with Part 6 of this Title, the camp must provide one qualified lifeguard for every 25 bathers to directly supervise campers participating in bathing activities and to implement the camp safety plan. Each camp supplied lifeguard shall supervise no more than 3400 square feet of area at swimming pools or no more than 50 yards of shoreline at bathing beaches. Camper swimming is prohibited at a distance of more than 75 feet from shore at bathing beaches when the water depth exceeds chest deep of the shortest camper. When the water depth is less than chest deep of the shortest camper, swimming shall be restricted to no more than 150 feet from shore.

(5) When wilderness swimming is conducted, each participating camper shall have a signed statement of permission to participate from a parent/guardian, and Section 7-2.11(a)(3)(iv) shall be complied with. In addition:

(i) the camp shall provide at least one qualified lifeguard per 25 bathers. A minimum of two staff members which includes the lifeguard shall possess a current certificate in an acceptable cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) training program as defined in subdivision 7-2.2(n) of this Subpart. Only staff who are determined by a Progressive Swimming Instructor to have a swimming ability equivalent to that of a swimmer's ability may supervise a wilderness swimming activity.

(ii) Minimum staff to camper ratio shall be 1:8 for campers 6 years of age and older and 1:6 for campers younger than 6 years of age. Counselors shall be assigned to supervise campers and be located at the waterfront providing direct visual surveillance for such campers at all times.

(iii) The swimming area shall be adequately marked to identify the perimeter. Water within the swimming area shall not exceed 5 feet in depth and swimming shall be restricted to an area which is no more than 50 yards of shoreline and 75 feet from shore. Water clarity shall be sufficient to see the bottom or to a minimum of 4 feet below the surface throughout the swimming area. The bottom slope of the swimming area shall not be steeper than 1:8 and the bottom shall contain no sharp drop-offs, jagged rocks or under water obstructions. Water currents shall not exceed 3 feet per second in the swimming area.

(iv) All campers must have their swimming ability assessed by a progressive swimming instructor and the swimming area shall have at least non-swimmer and swimmer areas designated. Non-swimmers shall be confined to the area appropriate to their assessed swimming ability. Non-swimmers shall be conspicuously identified to be readily distinguishable from swimmers and be restricted to water less than chest deep.

(v) Safety equipment. One rescue tube, rescue buoy or United States Coast Guard approved life jacket and a pocket face mask to assist with CPR shall be provided for each required lifeguard.

(vi) Safety rules. Head first diving shall be prohibited as shall jumping into the water from cliffs, trees, water flumes or rope swings.

(b) Riflery. (1) Rifle ranges shall not endanger any person or persons in other activity areas; backstops shall be used to contain bullets within the range. Large warning signs atop the backstop, facing away from the firing line, shall be labeled "keep out." A red firing flag shall be displayed when the range is in use.

(2) Rifle ranges shall be equipped with a firing line and a ready line; only those ready to fire shall be on the firing line. Those waiting to fire shall remain behind the ready line.

(3) The minimum age to participate in a riflery activity shall be in accordance with the Article 265 of the New York State Penal Law and specified in the camp safety plan. Campers shall be instructed in safe rifle range procedures before actual firing.

(4) Single-shot rifles, preferably with slings, shall be used. Persons shall stay behind the firing line at all times, except when ordered by the instructor to retrieve targets.

(5) The instructor shall be on the range at all times during firing sessions and shall be assisted by another counselor who may be trained by the instructor. One staff person shall supervise a maximum of 10 campers on the firing line.

(6) The instructor shall determine that rifles are clean and in good repair, supervise the storage of equipment and control its use by means of a check-out system. Guns and ammunition shall be stored, separately, in locked cabinets.

(c) Archery. (1) The archery range shall not endanger any person or persons in other program activities and be clearly marked to warn passing campers away from the danger area. The shooting area shall have at least 50 yards of clearance or an archery net behind each target. Bowmen shall fire from a common firing line and a ready line shall be marked behind it.

(2) The bows and arrows shall be stored in a locked cabinet.

(3) An archery staff-camper ratio of one for every 10 campers on the firing line shall be maintained.

(4) All archery staff should possess training in archery.

(d) Horseback riding. (1) A competent riding instructor shall determine each camper's riding experience and level of skill before assigning horses and deciding whether the camper rides in the ring or on the trail. One experienced instructor shall be assigned for every 10 riders for each trail excursion and a minimum of two staff persons shall accompany such excursion.

(2) Protective headgear containing a permanent label stating that it meets or exceeds the American Society for Testing and Materials standard ASTM F1163 shall be worn at all times.

(3) Children shall wear shoes with heels, or closed stirrups shall be used.

(e) Animals. No animals suspected of carrying a communicable disease shall be kept in camp. Animals kept in camp shall comply with the Environmental Conservation Law and with the Agriculture and Markets Law.

(f) Equipment. (1) No personal weapons, bows, rifles or similar equipment shall be brought to camp without the camp operator's knowledge and permission. Such articles permitted in camp shall be kept in a locked cabinet by the operator and used only by the owner in accordance with camp safety regulations.

(2) All equipment shall be free of hazards, securely anchored where necessary, installed and used in accordance with manufacturer's instructions and inspected by the camp operator at frequent intervals for defects.

(g) On-site activities. An activity leader shall supervise each camp activity occurring on the camp’s property. A minimum of one activity leader and one staff member shall supervise activities that occur at locations where additional camp staff assistance is not readily available. A minimum counselor-camper ratio of 1:8 shall be maintained for wilderness, equestrian, boating and similar specialized activities, unless the children are less than six years of age then the ratio shall be 1:6.

(h) Special waterfront activities. (1) Practices and equipment, including head protection for whitewater canoeing and personal flotation devices for specialty waterfront activities such as water skiing, scuba diving or whitewater canoeing shall be included in the approved camp safety plan.

(2) All motorized boats for use at camps shall: be registered with the Department of Motor Vehicles, display its registration number on its bow, and a current registration and inspection certificates shall be available for examination by the permit-issuing official. Procedures and conditions for the use of nonmotorized boats shall be included in the required written camp safety plan. All boat occupants shall wear a United State Coast Guard-approved life jacket or vest. A lifeguard shall be present in any watercraft having a capacity of eight or more persons and carrying non-swimmers unless such watercraft is a public vessel as defined in Section 2(6)(a) of the New York State Navigation Law.

(3) Boats may be used only by persons having permission of the camp aquatics director or camp director. Boats carrying passengers shall never be towed behind motorized or nonmotorized boats. All boats are prohibited in the swimming area unless being used in rescue efforts by lifeguards.

(4) All specialized aquatic activities, such as canoeing, sailing waterskiing and scuba diving, conducted by the camp shall be under the leadership of a counselor trained in the specialty.

(i) Camp trips. A trip leader and at least one counselor must accompany all camp trips. A minimum counselor-camper ratio of 1:8 shall be maintained for swimming, wilderness, equestrian, boating and similar specialized trips, unless the children are less than six years of age then the ratio shall be 1:6. A minimum counselor-camper ratio of 1:12 shall be maintained when transporting campers via motor vehicles to a specific activity site. Staff supervising a camp trip must review the camp safety plan for each trip within 24 hours prior to departure except when the staff participated in an identical trip or in the pre-camp training within one week prior to the intended trip.

(j) Incidental Water Immersion. During a hike or other similar camp activity, entering a stream or other body of water for the purpose of crossing or for personal hygiene shall not be considered swimming. Procedures for incidental water immersion in water deeper than mid-calf of the shortest camper must be specified in the camp safety plan and approved by the permit-issuing official. Incidental water immersion shall be prohibited when the water’s depth cannot be determined or when the water’s depth or current does not ensure a safe crossing. A trip or activity leader shall be familiar with safe water flow characteristics and camp safety plan procedures for any body of water entered. Staff shall test the entire area in which incidental immersion will occur prior to campers entering the water.

Statutory Authority

Public Health Law, Section 225

Volume

VOLUME A (Title 10)

up