How Do I?                 Tompkins A-Z     

Children's Camp Fact Sheets

First Aid Certifications for NYS Children’s Camp Staff  (2022)

Subpart 7-2 of the State Sanitary Code requires the health director, other staff specified in section 7-2.8, and certain camp trip and activity leaders to possess valid certification in first aid. The courses listed on this factsheet have been accepted by the Department as being equivalent to or exceeding first aid course standards specified in Section 7-2.2(m).

Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) Certification for NYS Bathing Facilities  (2022)

The New York State Sanitary Code (SSC) requires certain staff to possess a valid two-rescuer CPR certification in a course accepted by the Department as providing an adequate level of training as specified on this factsheet.

Aquatics Director for NYS Bathing Facilities  (2022)

A camp aquatics director must oversee all swimming activities that occur at swimming pools and bathing beaches operated as part of a children's camp. This person shall supervise lifeguards and other required staff during swimming activities and implement the camp safety plan.

Lifeguard Factsheet (Aquatic Certifications) for NYS Bathing Facilities  (2022)

Standards for aquatic/lifeguard certifications are contained in New York State Sanitary Codes (SSC) Subpart 6-1, Section 6-1.31, Swimming Pools; Subpart 6-2, Section 6-2.20, Bathing Beaches; and Subpart 7-2, Section 7-2.5(g), Children's Camps. When the SSC requires "lifeguard supervision" or a "qualified lifeguard" at a bathing facility, an approved lifeguard certification SPECIFIC to the type of bathing facility is required.

Progressive Swimming Instructor for NYS Children's Camps  (2022)

A progressive swimming instructor is required to assess the swimming ability of each camper prior to allowing the child to participate in aquatic activities. The courses listed on this factsheet meet the certification requirements as specified in Section 7-2.5(f) of Subpart 7-2 of the New York State Sanitary Code.

Learn to Swim Fact sheet  (2022)

Subpart 7-2 of the State Sanitary Code allows non-swimmers to enter water that is chest deep or greater when participating in a learn-to-swim program that has been determined to use a supervision protocol which protects campers from injury or drowning. The programs listed on this factsheet have been determined to be acceptable.

Camp Trip Swimming Program Safety Certifications Fact Sheet  (2022)

When swimming is conducted during a camp trip to an aquatics facility that is supervised by qualified lifeguard(s), the camp must supply one additional lifeguard or a staff member possessing training in Children’s Camp Swimming Program Safety for each 75 campers at the swimming activity (See Aquatic Certification Fact Sheet for a list of qualified lifeguard certification).

Level III and IV Aquatic Supervision Staff CPR Certifications for NYS Bathing Facilities  (2022)

Level III and IV Aquatic Supervisory Staff are required to possess an American Red Cross (ARC) CPR or equivalent (except when staff is employed at bathing facilities that are part of a temporary residence or campground). As a result of changes in ARC's curriculum, the code standard "Community CPR" is no longer taught. Acceptable certification equivalents are listed on this factsheet.

Supervision Level III Aquatic Staff Certification Required for Instructional Activities  (2022 — Not Applicable to Children’s Camps)

The New York State Sanitary Code (SSC) requires Supervision Level III staff to possess aquatic injury prevention and emergency response certification when assisting required lifeguards (Supervision Level IIa) during instructional activities, in accordance with Section 6-1.23(a)(6) of Subpart 6-1 of the SSC. Instructional activities include, but are not limited to, learn-to-swim programs, physical education classes and swim team practices. One Supervision Level III staff must be provided for each required lifeguard engaged in instructional activities.

Swimming Pool Operators Water Treatment Courses and Certifications  (2022)

For Operation of NYS Swimming Pools and Recreational Aquatic Spray Grounds
A qualified swimming pool water treatment operator is required to maintain pools larger than 3,000 square feet in surface area, or pools disinfected using gas chlorine and all recreational aquatic spray ground facilities.

American Red Cross (ARC) Certificates & CEUs  (Reviewed 2019)

Digital certificates, certification courses, and info about continuing education credits are available on the American Red Cross Certificates and CEUs page.


Sex Offender Registry Search Fact Sheet  (Update 2013, Reviewed 2019)

Section 7-2.5(l) of the New York State Sanitary Code and Article 13-B of the Public Health Law requires children’s camp operators to determine whether an employee or volunteer at the camp is listed on the New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services (DCJS) Sex Offender Registry. Checks of the Registry must be completed prior to the day the employee or volunteer starts work at the camp and annually thereafter prior to their arrival at camp. The law applies to all children’s camps (day, traveling day and overnight) and to all prospective employees and volunteers at the camp regardless of their job title/responsibilities or employment status (full or part-time).

These fact sheets are also available on the NYSDOH website at

If you have any questions regarding these Fact Sheets, please call Environmental Health at (607) 274-6688 or Click Here to send an email message.

[Top of Page]

Bunk Bed Guardrail Requirements

Bunk Bed IllustrationSince June 19, 2000, the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has required all new bunk beds that are manufactured for non-institutional use to have guardrails that comply with CPSC Safety Standard for Bunk Beds.

A review of the children’s camps injury reports submitted to the Department of Health has shown that falls from bunk beds have resulted in serious injuries to campers of all age groups at camps in New York State. While the CPSC design standards are effective at preventing injuries from falls, the standards do not apply to bunk beds manufactured prior to June 19, 2000 or to those manufactured for institutional use.

In order to provide for the safety of the campers and staff, section 7-2.16(b) of Subpart 7-2 of the State Sanitary Code pertaining to the operation of a Children’s Camp in New York State, was amended during 2004 to require the upper bed of bunk beds be provided with adequate guardrails. Download fact sheet on Guardrail Requirements (PDF, 1.3MB, 2004)

[Top of Page]

Updated Feb. 25, 2022.