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Create a Healthy Summer Camp Experience for Your Child
Prepare Your Child
See Your Child’s Doctor
What If My Child Has Special Needs?
What If My Child Has Food Allergies?
What If My Child Gets Homesick?
- Involve your child—A child who is involved in choosing and preparing for camp may be more excited and face less homesickness.
- Be open—Discussing homesickness openly can help you and your child be realistic about what it will be like to be away from home.
- Be positive—Encourage your child. Share your happy memories of camp when you were a child.
- Practice—If your child is especially worried about homesickness, arrange for him or her to stay away from home with relatives or friends to practice.
Choose a Camp That Is…
Accredited by the American Camp Association
Prepared for Medical Emergencies
- Written health policies that have been approved by a pediatrician or family doctor
- Policies to deal with infectious outbreaks, like the flu
- Knowledge about local health hazards, such as Lyme disease
- Staff that has been properly trained to use an automated external defibrillator (AED) if there is one on campus
- Staff that is certified in first aid and cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR)
- Camp records have emergency contact information for every camper
Ready to Treat Common Camp Illnesses
Eager to Answer All Your Questions
- Visit the camp before submitting a deposit. Check out sleeping and bathing areas. Try to get a feel for the commitment of the staff.
- Ask about fees. Is your deposit refundable? Are there extra fees for special activities?
- Does the camp conduct background checks on all employees?
- Ask about the medical facilities, especially if your child has special medical needs.
- Ask about safety procedures. How does the camp enforce safety rules?
- Ask for references from parents who have sent their children to the camp.
Committed to Keeping Your Child Healthy While at Camp
American Academy of Pediatrics http://www.aap.org
American Camp Association http://www.acacamps.org
Canadian Camping Association http://www.ccamping.org
Canadian Paediatric Society http://www.cps.ca
AAP helps young campers stay safe and healthy. American Academy of Pediatrics Healthy Children website. Available at: http://www.healthychildren.org/English/news/Pages/AAP-Helps-Young-Campers-Stay-Safe-and-Healthy.aspx. Published March 28, 2011. Accessed October 10, 2013.
BBB advises parents to check facilities, qualifications to ensure safe, rewarding camp experience for child. Better Business Bureau website. Available at: http://lima.bbb.org/article/bbb-advises-parents-to-check-facilities-qualifications-to-ensure-safe-rewarding-camp-experience-for-child-25541. Published March 10, 2011. Accessed October 10, 2013.
Creating healthy camp experiences. Pediatrics. 2011;127:794-799.
Fun and safety—ACA camps set the standard. American Camp Association website. Available at: http://www.campparents.org/funsafety. Accessed October 10, 2013.
Gluten free camp a hit for kids with celiac disease. American Academy of Pediatrics Healthy Children website. Available at: http://www.healthychildren.org/English/news/Pages/Gluten-Free-Camp-A-Hit-For-Kids-With-Celiac-Disease.aspx. Published February 15, 2010. Accessed August 5, 2011.
Make summer camp safe for your food-allergic child. Kids With Food Allergies Foundation website. Available at: http://www.kidswithfoodallergies.org/resourcespre.php?id=146&. Updated July 29, 2012. Accessed October 10, 2013.
A partnership of caring—parents and camps join together. American Camp Association website. Available at: http://www.campparents.org/childprotection. Accessed October 10, 2013.
Sending your child with special needs to camp. Kids Health website. Available at: http://kidshealth.org/parent/system/ill/sending%5Fchild%5Fcamp.html. Updated November 2010. Accessed October 10, 2013.
When can I go to sleepaway camp? Kids Health website. Available at: http://kidshealth.org/kid/talk/when/when%5Fcamp.html. Updated June 2013. Accessed October 10, 2013.
- Reviewer: Michael Woods, MD
- Review Date: 10/2013
- Update Date: 10/10/2013