Thursday, August 5, 2021

Keeping Your Kid Safe At Summer Camp

Summer camp can be a fantastic opportunity for your children. It can allow them to socialize in new circles, to learn new skills, to feel confident and competent, and play a role in helping them reach their full potential. However, it may be their first time away from home and away from adults that they know, so it’s important to help them enjoy the experience safely. As such, here are a few tips to keep in mind when sending your child off to summer camp.

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Make sure that they’re vigilant about the sun and heat

It’s going to be a priority of most of the camp helpers to make sure that the kids stay safe out there in the sun. However, you should make sure that you educate them about the importance of sunscreen and of putting it on every time that they go outdoors. Be sure to choose a sunscreen that is water-resistant in case they might end up playing in the water. Giving them a reusable water bottle can help them better avoid the risk of getting dehydrated out there, as well. As mentioned, the adults at the camp should help them manage these risks but it doesn’t hurt to make sure that they’re extra prepared.

Warn them about the local critters

The first thing that you should do is make sure that the camp you are sending your child to is equipped to treat them for any manner of insect stings, bites, and even allergic reactions. If there are ticks in the area, make sure that the camp adults check for ticks on a regular basis behind the ears, behind the knees, and under the arms. Otherwise, teach your kid about using things like mosquito nets to keep the bugs away from them at night. Mostly, you want to make sure that they have the sense to not bother any bugs or nests, especially hives of any stinging insects that could cause serious harm if disturbed.

Be vigilant about plants, as well

It’s not just the insects that can sting, either. There are many stinging plants that can cause discomfort that your children should be wary to avoid. The most important for them to be able to identify, however, is poison ivy. Poison ivy can be identified by its three leaves and, sometimes, the hard white fruits that also grow from the thing stem. While there are many three leaves plants, poison ivy has pointed tips on its leaves and long petioles (the sections connecting the leaves to the stalk of the plant.) Of course, if they avoid all three-leafed plants then they’re also going to avoid poison ivy so they might not need to know too much detail about which plants are which.

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Make sure the camp has health care capabilities

When choosing a summer camp to send your child to, it’s important that you choose based on those that can keep them safe and healthy, first and foremost. This means taking a look at what first aid kits and provisions they might have to help treat injuries, bites, and other problems that can occur. You should also make sure that there is a nurse on staff (at least one) and that the adults helping the campers all have some manner of emergency first aid treatment. Talking to the nurse about what they have treated in the past can help you get some peace of mind that your kid will be taken care of.

Standing up for your child

If your child does get injured, then you need to consider what you’re going to do about it. It is the responsibility of the camp supervisors to look after the children that are staying at the campgrounds. Yet, injuries are most common during supervised activities, when they should be most vigilant. If your child is injured as a result of negligence or the direct actions of a camp’s member of staff, then making a personal injury claim may be the best way to hold them accountable and help pay the medical bills of the associated treatment. You should, however, pay close attention to any liability waivers. If a camp tries to restrict what you can do in the event that your child is injured, then you may want to consider choosing a different camp.

Inform them of any medical needs your child has

A lot of children going to camp will have their own medical histories and their needs when it comes to managing ongoing conditions. You shouldn’t feel bad or in any way uncertain about telling the camp staff about those medical needs. If you have to send medication with them, it can help to get a doctor’s note explaining the condition and how it is to be handled. If your child has to cope with pain, coughing, or other regular symptoms, then you might want to get their input on whether or not they allow over-the-counter medication, as often they do not.

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Their emotional health

It’s not just about their physical safety, it’s about their emotional and mental health, as well. If a child is not yet emotionally ready to go camping, it can be more of a traumatizing experience than anything else. If they are asking to go camp, if they have already had experiences away from home overnight, and if they are excited about it, then they will probably be just fine. However, summer camp should probably not be the first overnight experience away from home. Similarly, if they feel pressured by friends or siblings going to camp or they are often nervous or uncomfortable in crowds, then you might want to reconsider and instead plan for other summer activities.

The vast majority of kids who go to summer camp enjoy it with no problems and come back with nothing but good memories. However, that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t be vigilant. With the tips above, you can ensure that you and your child are equipped with the know-how of handling situations with care.

1 comment :

  1. These are great tips! My daughter dislikes putting on sunscreen so that will be a hard one for her once she's in summer camp.