Allergies are becoming increasingly more common, with a majority of them being related to food. It can be nerve-wracking for parents sending their child with an allergy to camp. Especially when you’re unsure of how they accommodate children with allergenic and medical needs. Here are some tips to give you peace of mind your child will be safe this summer:
1. Speak with prospective camp counselors at the earliest convenience to get as much information as possible.
2. Ask about the allergy policies and emergency protocols. Check to see if the camp have a written policy to ensure no allergens are brought into the camp environment (either through campers, staff, or suppliers). Ask if they have previous experience with children who may have had an allergic reactions? Also ask how an emergency situation would be handled?
3. Check with the camp as to the counselor to camper ratio. It is also good to know if the staff is trained on how to avoid allergens and to recognize symptoms of an allergic reaction. An important question to ask is your child allowed to carry their own medication or is this left in the care of the counselors?
4. Some camps will provide you with details for the camp medical staff or medical office. Have these numbers handy should you need to follow up with the camp.
5. Two more good points to check with the camp staff about is for day camps, do children bring their own food and how is this controlled? And for overnight campers, how do they keep from cross-contamination with potential allergens in their facilities?
The above list is all important questions which you need the answers for and these will help when determining the best camp for your child. Once you’ve made your decision and booked your child’s spot, remember to submit the medical forms as soon as possible. Don’t be afraid to go over this information with the camp director in order to ensure there is a plan in place your child. Most importantly, let your child know in an emergency to tell the camp staff. Let them know the staff is there to help and care for them. By keeping your children at ease about their allergies, you will help keep their camp experience a positive one.