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Reducing Youth Activity Risks

Every organization needs to recognize and address the risks of sponsoring youth activities. While youth programs are excellent for kids, they also can result in major lawsuits for negligence or abuse. For example, a youth softball game could result in a serious injury. Sexual misconduct by a volunteer or staff member also is another very real concern. In an effort to help minimize the risks associated with youth activities, the GuideOne Center for Risk Management has compiled the following recommendations.

Preventive Measures to Reduce Youth Activity Risks

  • Establish written guidelines for youth activities, and carefully monitor and supervise all events.
  • Require that all activities must be pre-approved by a certain group in your organization.
  • Implement an application and acceptance process for selecting youth leaders and volunteers.
  • Conduct background checks and proper screening on leaders and volunteers that will work with children.
  • Train leaders and volunteers on safe transportation of youth, and develop a written transportation policy including driver qualification requirements.
  • Require an appropriate ratio of adults to youth at each event. Two or more adults should always be present.
  • Assess potential risks of the activity and inform leaders about possible hazards prior to each event.
  • Collect permission, release and medical forms signed by parents.
  • Keep records of current phone numbers to contact parents in case of an emergency.
  • Inform parents in writing about all activities.
  • Train and certify leaders and volunteers in a first aid course.
  • Have leaders carry cellular telephones during events and activities.

© 2019 The GuideOne Center for Risk Management, LLC. All rights reserved.This material is for informational purposes only. It is not intended to give specific legal or risk management advice, nor are any suggested checklists or action plans intended to include or address all possible risk management exposures or solutions. You are encouraged to retain your own expert consultants and legal advisors in order to develop a risk management plan specific to your own activities.