Study: Camp Safety Measures Work

Wondering if your child should go to summer day camp this summer? A Duke Health analysis in conjunction with our friends down the road at the YMCA of the Triangle says yes – with strong protections and modified programming in place.

The study was conducted from March through August 2020 in collaboration with YMCA of the Triangle Summer Day Camps at locations in six counties. The study was published online February 3 in the journal Pediatrics.

“These results suggest that the benefit of in-person programming for supporting youth learning and mental health, particularly in vulnerable populations, outweighs the risk of viral spread,” added Dr. Permar, who serves as the Nancy C. Paduano Professor of Pediatrics at Weill Cornell Medicine. “This is true, not only in a school setting, but in a camp setting where children are engaging in activities like playing outside and at the gym and doing crafts.”

Dr. Permar conducted the study while she was a member of the Duke faculty. She said the Y should be credited for developing an “academic-community partnership” to involve medical personnel and scientists to ensure precautions were taken.

“They worked hard to stay open and keep campers as safe as possible knowing how important these camps are to kids whose parents are essential workers, work multiple jobs and don’t have another option for child care,” said Dr. Permar.


At Y Summer Day Camps, kids unplug from technology, develop self esteem and skills, and explore in a safe, engaging environment. Learn more about 2021 YMCA Summer Day Camps and how we’re keeping children safe.



A version of this was originally published by YMCA of Triangle.