Senator Little’s and Assemblyman Jones legislation helps kids stay healthy at camp

June 21, 2017

Senator Betty Little (R-Queensbury) and Assemblyman Billy Jones (D-Chateaugay) announced Assembly and Senate passage of joint legislation they authored to make it easier for kids to protect themselves from insect bites when they’re away at camp A.8420/S.6710-A. The measure would allow children in overnight camp, summer day camp and traveling summer day camp to carry or use insect repellent if granted permission by their parents or guardians.

“Summer camp is a really special and memorable time in many kids’ lives,” said Senator Betty Little. “But being bitten by insects, especially ticks that carry the Lyme bacteria, is obviously something to be avoided and repellants are often effective. The point of our legislation is to provide clarity for parents and for camp owners and operators so that children are prepared and protected if needed.”

“Children in summer camp spend most of their time outdoors, especially here in the North Country, and run the risk of bug bites, which can transmit diseases,” Jones said. “We must allow them, with the permission of their parents and assistance of camp counselors, to take steps to stay safe and healthy while having fun.”

Current regulation requires that camps be provided with a doctor’s note in order for children to carry or use insect repellent. The lawmakers’ legislation would end that requirement, allowing parents or guardians to provide written permission instead for the use of a repellent that is authorized by the camp. Children who are physically unable to apply the bug repellent themselves can be assisted by camp personnel with parent permission. Camps would also be required to maintain a record of the permission. The legislation now awaits the governor’s signature to become law.