Environmental Health

Health Center


Each youth camp operating within the State of New Jersey are required to staff a health director and designate a health center.  The health director must always remain onsite. This ensures that each youth camp will have immediate access to capable personnel to provide health guidance, bandage scrapes and bruises and alert EMS when and if a serious injury or illness occurs within the youth camp setting.  More details about the requirements for the health center and health director can be found under 8:25-5 Health




Summer is a great time to enjoy many fun outdoor activities. But high levels of air pollution and physical activity are a bad mix. Elevated levels of ozone or fine particles in the air can be harmful to health. Days with high levels of air pollution can trigger asthma attacks and worsen asthma symptoms in children. During 2021, more than 8,500 NJ children under age 18 went to NJ Emergency Departments seeking treatment for asthma. Asthma is common in NJ children and affects an estimated 8% of NJ children under 18.*

*(from CDC National Environmental Public Health Tracking Network)



The New Jersey Department of Health (NJDOH) is encouraging youth camps to participate in the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection’s (NJDEP) NJ Air Quality Flag Program. Camps can sign up to get daily local air quality updates and display free, color-coded flags to alert the camp when air quality poses a potential health risk for vulnerable populations. Camps can modify activities as needed based on local air quality.† To learn more, visit the NJDEP NJ Air Quality Flag Program

†Vulnerable populations, such as children with asthma, should always follow their clinician’s recommendations regarding time spent outdoors on days with poor air quality.


Some helpful information about NJ Air Quality:

  • In 2022, there were seven orange flag days (designated as unhealthy for sensitive groups, which includes children) in NJ.
  • Some forecasting zones did not have ANY orange flags while other zones had as many as six days during 2022.
  • There were only two red flag days (unhealthy) in 2022.
  • Over the past five years, there were no purple flag days and only six red flag days in NJ.



Visit NJDOH’s Environmental Public Health Tracking (EPHT) website to learn more about ozone, particulate matter, and health.

Visit NJ State Health Assessment Data website for additional health information on asthma and other respiratory diseases.

Download the informational flyer

Download the air quality informational flyer



Children, especially those who are physically active, are among those individuals at higher-than-average risk for HRI. Between 2017 and 2021, a total of 848 children under the age of 15years old were treated at New Jersey Emergency Departments for heat-related illness. High heat days can also cause poor air quality, which can trigger asthma attacks or worsen asthma symptoms.


  • Hydrate: Make sure campers drink water even if they don’t feel thirsty. Make cool water available near all athletic fields and activity areas.

  • Adapt activities: On extremely hot days, try to adapt activities to focus on lower energy activities and/or waterbased programs. Also consider indoor activities if air-conditioned spaces are available.

  • Play early. Play late: Schedule more strenuous outdoor activities in the cooler parts of the day when possible (early mornings for day camps or evenings for overnight camps).

  • Get acclimatized: At sports camps or camps with a lot of physical activity, gradually increase physical activity over several days. Schedule rest periods in the shade and pool time to allow campers to recover.

  • Stay in the shade: During midday, hold activities in shady areas or go indoors. Provide shaded areas for rest, quiet activities, and lunch.

  • Keep the rays away: Encourage campers to wear lightweight, loose, light-colored clothing. Encourage campers to apply sunscreen with SPF 30 or higher and reapply throughout the day.

  • Watch for signs of heat-related illnesses: Train all staff to know the warning signs of heat cramps, heat exhaustion, and heat stroke. See CDC’s fact sheet on the warning signs and symptoms of heat-related illness on the next page (for the Spanish version: bit.ly/3E9Fx5M).



Extreme Heat: A Prevention Guide to Promote Your Personal Health and Safety [CDC.gov]

Extreme Heat: Tips for Preventing Heat-Related Illness [CDC.gov]

NJDOH information for healthcare providers regarding HRI prevention [PDF]

Resources in other languages on preventing HRI [ready.gov]


download the informational flyer

Download the heat-related illness informational flyer



The health center should be stocked with appropriate supplies to care for an ill or injured staff or camper.  The Health Center Supplies lists the minimum supplies required within the center.

First aid supplies shall be available at all times and fully restocked within 48 hours of use. The health director shall ensure that a first aid kit is available for out-of-camp trips and stocked with the items deemed appropriate and necessary for the activities of that trip.

Youth camps are also required to post emergency numbers, document illness for traceability and report accidents and illness at the end of each season using the Annual Accident Report form.

Download the Health Center Supplies list



The health director is the primary administrator knowledgeable about various health concerns within the youth camp community.

All DAY AND RESIDENT youth camp health directors shall hold a certification from a listed certification agency approved by the Department as listed in "Recognized Certifications,“ available here, in professional-level infant, child, and adult cardiopulmonary resuscitation.

The camp director at a DAY youth camp, at a minimum, shall have on duty at all times, a health director who is an adult and is certified by the American Red Cross in standard first aid-level training, or has equivalent certification approved by the Department as listed in "Recognized Certifications".


At all RESIDENT youth camps, the camp director shall ensure that a health director is on duty at all times who is an adult and either:

  • A physician licensed by the New Jersey State Board of Medical Examiners to practice medicine or osteopathy;


  • A registered nurse or licensed practical nurse, licensed by the New Jersey Board of Nursing;


  • An individual who is certified in advanced first aid, paramedic or emergency medical technician or first responder/CIM accredited by a certification agency approved by the Department as listed in "Recognized Certifications (CPR-First Aid-Lifeguarding-Trained Pool Operator),“ available here;


  • An athletic trainer that has a valid certification from the Board of Certification, Inc. (BOC). Information on the BOC is available through a written request to Board of Certification, Inc., 4223 South 143rd Circle, Omaha, Nebraska 68137 4505, or through the following toll-free telephone number (877) 262-3926, or online at http://www.bocatc.org/ 

More details about the requirements for the health director can be found under §N.J.A.C. 8:25-5.2 Health Director.



Approximately 32 million people in the United States have food allergies, including 1 in 10 adults and 1 in 13 children, that is roughly two in every classroom. Food allergy reactions are serious and can be life-threatening. Every three minutes, a food allergy reaction sends someone to the emergency room.
Source: FARE

In New Jersey, at the time of admission to the camp, a parent or a legal guardian of a camper is required to submit a written health history for the camper including physical conditions, mental conditions and allergies. Staff members are also required to submit their health history record.

Health Director is required to maintain health histories on file as well as maintain on site written parental consent for emergency treatment. A written documented arrangement must be made with a local Emergency Medical Service (EMS) or an ambulance squad for transport to the nearest hospital. Health Director who is trained in professional-level CPR, must be on duty at all times.

More Info: NJ Guidelines for the Management of Life-Threatening Food Allergies in Schools


Epinephrine Auto-Injectors

New Jersey regulations require camps to establish written medical policies and procedures on treatment of illness and injury and administration of both prescription and non-prescription medications.

CDC recommends that a plan is developed for responding to food allergy emergencies, including the administration of epinephrine. It is advisable to train staff to improve their understanding of food allergies and their ability to respond to food allergy emergencies (including administration of epinephrine).

2016 NJ Youth Camp Epinephrine Access and Emergency Treatment Act details that a camp may develop a policy for the emergency administration of epinephrine via a pre-filled auto-injector mechanism to a member of the youth camp community. The law allows for youth camp to carry, in a secure but easily accessible location, a supply of pre-filled epinephrine auto-injectors that is 13 prescribed under a standing protocol from a licensed physician or other authorized prescriber. Youth camp must provide standardized training for emergency epinephrine administration.

Read full text of the Epinephrine Administration Act here.


Code Ana's Epinephrine Training Program Video


Allergies and Anaphylaxis – NASN Resources

          • Sample Planning Checklists 
          • Sample Anaphylaxis Policy
          • Sample Practice Forms
          • School Personnel Training Resources
          • Education Resources

Food Allergy Research & Education

          • Cross-Contact Poster (available in English and Spanish)
          • Sample Emergency Plan




Last Reviewed: 3/16/2023