I know we say this every year but here I go again... can you believe that another school year is coming to an end!?! Of course that means that summer fun and summer camp with long hours and long days (hopefully) ahead for many children! Although the thought of sending kids with food allergies off to summer camp can make some parents break out into a full blown panic, the reality is that today’s camps are working hard to create safe environments for ALL kids. Besides, AllerMates has got you covered with some tips to help ease the stress of it all.
First, make sure you choose a camp that reassures you of your kiddo's safety and provides you with the peace of mind that you deserve. Here are a list of questions to ask when speaking with camp representatives.
- Who is the primary healthcare person and what are their credentials? Who is responsible for their duties in this person’s absence?
- Where will your child's emergency medicines be kept and maintained?
- How does camp communicate and monitor food allergy information? (Is this sufficient for your child?)
- How far is the camp from a medical treatment center?
- What trips might the camper take that change the response time?
- Do travel personnel have sufficient medication to provide a margin of safety?
- What limits a camp’s ability to care for your child?
Once you’ve found a camp that you feel is a good fit for your kiddo, it’s time to make sure that the camp has everything they need to protect your food allergic child.
- Every camp has an emergency care/health form, so make sure that you have filled out your child’s information accurately. It may help to include the FARE emergency care plan so that the camp knows how to handle an allergic reaction. We have one as well here.
- Make sure you talk directly to the camp director and that he or she has talked to all camp personnel about your child’s health condition.
- Talk to the camp director and discuss who on staff is trained to administer an emergency auto-injector.
Now that your camp is thoroughly prepared, don't forget to talk to your kiddo about what to do when he or she is not under your care. Arm them in awareness gear like our allergy bracelets, lunch bags and medicine cases and remind them the Allergy Safety Rules!
Here is a link to our kids content page with our animated video. It's always good to remind them of how to keep themselves safe.
I hope all the above makes you feel prepared and helps ease your nerves. After all, summer is meant for relaxing.
Here's to a wonderful and safe summer.
Iris Shamus is a mother to three awesome kids & the founder/CEO of AllerMates. AllerMates was born in 2008 as a result of her food allergic and asthmatic son, Ben. Iris and/or AllerMates have been featured in many places including Fox News, the Doctors, Veria Living, MSNBC, The Today Show & the Huffington Post with helpful advice on keeping kids safe. Based in New York, Iris & her team design & ship their products, create informative content & obsess every day about safeguarding kids.