Recreation Health and Safety
Allergies and Health Needs
If your child has any health needs and/or carries medication, you’ll need to complete an Administration of Medication Form and Waiver. If your child has a life threatening allergy and carries an auto-injector (example: Epipen®), you’ll need to fill out and sign the Anaphylaxis-Consent for Administration of Epipen® Form. Make sure to hand these in on the first day of the program, so your child can participate.
Participants with an auto-injector (example: Epipen®) and/or asthma puffers must have their labelled medication with them at all times during program hours. Medication cannot be kept on-site after program hours. It will be sent home each day with your child.
Food Allergies and Dietary Restrictions
The City of Toronto and its staff cannot guarantee that the ingredients or supplies within programs that prepare, serve or cook food are free of possible allergen-containing ingredients. Participants enrolled in the program must be aware of this risk. The City will not assume any liability for adverse reactions to food consumed or food items participants may come in contact with while participating in the program. Participants will be required to fill out a Participant Information Form on or before the first day of the program. Please speak to staff to discuss any food allergies or dietary restrictions.
In cases where a participant shows signs or symptoms of head lice (pediculosis), our staff will immediately notify parents or caregivers and recommend they see a health professional. Our staff will ensure that contact between participants is minimal.
Staff will provide all program parents and caregivers with a letter on head lice and a Toronto Public Health Head Lice Fact Sheet. Staff will wash, sterilize and vacuum items and surfaces as per Toronto Public Health’s Fact Sheet. Every effort will be made to ensure that matters remain confidential and the privacy of participants and families are maintained.
Contagious Illness or Health Conditions
Our programs follow guidelines developed with Toronto Public Health for common contagious illnesses or health conditions. Participants may be restricted from a program if they have contracted a contagious illness or a health condition that could affect the health and safety of others or could have negative implications for their own health and safety.
West Nile Virus Guidelines
For outdoor nature programs or trips, we recommend that you send insect repellent to the program (labelled with your child’s name), and/or protective long sleeved clothing that is light coloured and breathable. Staff will remind children who have brought repellent to apply/reapply it at key times, when mosquitoes may be present. Where possible, our staff will avoid areas with stagnant/standing water and other areas where mosquitoes can breed.
Equipment Cleaning and Illness Prevention
Our program staff are trained to regularly clean and disinfect equipment and toys that are susceptible to contamination or have been contaminated. Please remember to label your child’s refillable water bottle before sending it to camp, to help prevent sharing water bottles and the spread of germs.
Our staff will ensure that children have washed their hands before meals or snack times.
Programs for young children without a parent or caregiver are intended for children who are toilet trained, as staff cannot change diapers. To ensure your child’s successful participation in the program:
- Encourage your child to use the washroom before the program begins.
- Tell staff about any special toileting routines or signs your child uses when they need to use the washroom.
- Pull up training pants are acceptable in the program.
- If your child requires a special needs support worker to help with personal care, please notify your centre’s Community Recreation Programmer.
Sun, Heat and Smog
For programs involving outdoor activities, please send sunscreen with your child to the program (labelled with your child’s name). Program staff will remind children to re-apply sunscreen throughout the day and after water-related activities, and will be encouraged and reminded to drink water frequently. During extreme weather conditions, programs may be modified to ensure your child’s safety.
Cooking programs teach children the basics of cooking and healthy eating. All cooking programs follow food safety and personal hygiene guidelines developed in consultation with Toronto Public Health, and offer nutritious food choices in line with Canada’s Food Guide. If your child has any allergy concerns, please refer to the Food Allergies and Dietary Restrictions section under Participant Health.
Safe Play Spaces
In addition to regularly inspecting play areas and program equipment, program staff visually inspect equipment for any hazards or disrepair prior to use. If an issue is identified, program staff immediately notify their supervisors to complete necessary repairs and prevent access to it. Equipment that is damaged beyond repair will not be used, and staff will arrange alternative activities.
Children participating in programs or sports that require protective equipment must bring that equipment with them in the correct size. Here is a quick list of what’s required:
All participants must wear CSA approved and appropriately sized hockey helmets, with all helmet straps attached, for all skate programs.
Learn to Bike and CAN-BIKE
An appropriately sized and approved bicycle helmet (CAS, Snell, ASTM, CPSC or ANSI) must be worn during cycling.
Ski and Snowboard
All participants must wear a helmet that meets or exceeds the EN 1077 standard while participating in any ski/snowboard instructional programs.
Western Horseback Riding
All campers must wear an SEI certified helmet during any horseback riding.
For more information, speak with one of our program staff or contact the Community Recreation Programmer at your community centre.
In the event of a medical emergency or serious injury involving a participant, our staff are trained to immediately contact Emergency Medical Services and follow a series of procedures to provide a timely and appropriate response, including notifying parents and/or caregivers. All of our staff are trained in First Aid and will provide first aid and/or CPR on site for any medical emergencies that arise.
Emergency Response Procedures are in place in all programs areas. These procedures are in place to help staff ensure the safety of you and your child(ren) during emergency situations.
Child Who Becomes Ill During a Program
Should your child become ill during a program, staff will ensure that they receive proper care and that parents and/or caregivers are notified immediately and asked to come pick-up their child.
Weather conditions that may affect programs are regularly monitored by staff through information from Environment Canada and the Weather Network. Severe weather conditions may require programs to be modified or cancelled to ensure participant safety. In the event of a program cancellation, staff will attempt to notify parents and caregivers as soon as possible. Communication of program cancellations will be made by phone, posting of facility signage and service alerts.
Staff Communication Devices
Staff in all program areas have access to a phone or reliable communication devices at all times. Staff will be using these devices strictly for purpose of maintaining program quality or for contacting emergency services in the event of an emergency situation.