RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — With the long, hot summer approaching fast, parents are getting ready to send their kids off to camp. 

Before they go, make sure the camp your child attends is a good fit. 

Summer camps come in all styles and varieties, but they have one thing in common: needing to keep your kids safe. 

“It’s important to ask questions to see what sort of safety protocols they have in place, especially if your kid has any sort of medication they need to take,” Nick Hill of the Better Business Bureau of the Eastern Carolinas said.

The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services oversees summer day camps in the state. 

Among its requirements for summer camp operators include: 

  • Criminal background checks; 
  • Building and fire inspections and
  • Basic school-age training for staff. 

In order to be licensed, a camp needs to meet those criteria and more.

You also need to check to see if the camp is accredited. 

“A good place to start is to look and see if a camp is accredited with the American Camping Association,” Hill said. “The ACA accredits camps based on their 32 national standards. If a camp meets all of these standards, that’s going to be a really good sign that it is a fun and safe place where you can send your kid.” 

You can also check with other parents who sent their kids to the same camp previously to get their opinions about the quality of its facility and its staff. 

When it comes to worrying about paying for the camp, there are contracts and specialized fees. 

Hill said to watch out for those financial tricks. 

“Hidden fees are an unfortunate part of everyday life, it seems,” he said. ‘’With summer camps, it’s going to be especially important that you read contracts, see exactly what you’re paying for and know where your money’s going.” 

You also need to figure out ahead of time if the camp will offer any sort of refund if something happens and your child is unable to attend the full session. Get those promises in writing.