Attending summer camp is an excellent time for our kids to gain some independence and grow into the self-sufficient young adults we all want them to be. However, if your child suffers from allergies of any kind, sending them on their own can be scary and intimidating. Here are some tips for coping with allergies at summer camp.Visit Your Doctor Beforehand
First and foremost, be sure that your child’s medical exams are up to date. Inform your doctor of the upcoming camp visit so you can set up an allergy plan together. Medications should be current and clear instructions should be recorded.
Provide All Camp Staff with Allergy Information
Your camp will likely require your doctor’s permission to treat your child’s allergies. Be certain that all pertinent information is current and be sure to include all of your contact information. Additionally, make a notecard with your child’s allergy symptoms and treatments to keep in your child’s pocket or to keep taped up next to his or her bunk. For life-threatening allergies, an emergency medical bracelet is a valuable asset.
Itchy eyes, tickling sneezes, and congestion can be overwhelming when spending so much time outdoors. Your child’s doctor may suggest an over-the-counter antihistamine but don’t forget to get written approval from the doctor. Packing your child clean clothing to wear each day may help to relieve some discomfort as well as suggesting that all campers leave their shoes outside the cabin.
An Asthma Action Plan is crucial if your child suffers from this medical condition. The plan lists information such as symptoms, medicines, and what to do in case of emergency. Cold air, pollen, and mold can all trigger asthmatic episodes. Exercise can also irritate the lungs. Your child’s plan will likely include both preventative inhalers as well as emergency rescue inhalers.
A Food Allergy Action Plan is also essential for camp if your child is allergic or sensitive to certain foods. Discuss the allergies with the camp staff and ask if you can provide substitutions to the camp kitchen. If the allergy is life-threatening, your child may need an epinephrine prescription in the event of accidental ingestion.