Planning For Summer Camps With Food Allergies

Planning For Summer Camps With Food Allergies

Planning For Summer Camps With Food Allergies

The excitement of summer time for kids of all ages begins weeks before school lets out and as final preparations begin for a summer by the lake, with fellow friends and days of planned activities.

Summer camp. Kids wait all year for the chance to venture away from home to spend a week or two in nature but parents with kids who have food allergies might want to pay closer detail to sending their children off for an extended period of time.

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Be assured that while your child is away from home, their allergy doesn’t prevent them from enjoying the reason why they’re there, to have fun!

Prepare For Your Child’s Summer Away From Home

Before the bags are packed and the car is loaded up, you’ll want to prepare your child and his or her summer camp with necessary information and tools.

Find the right camp for your child. Before you begin registration, be sure to communicate your child’s peanut allergy to the camp director and medical staff to make sure there’s a well planned food allergy policy in place. Ask if the camp has a full-time health officer to handle any medical emergencies any time during the day or night.

Normally during registration, there will be a section on the registration form pertaining to allergies and illnesses a child might have. To ensure the camp knows every detail of your child’s peanut allergy, release all information that is pertinent to your child’s safety.

Check for food allergy awareness programs. Many summer camps are providing training for staff to ensure they know what to do when a camper has a food allergy reaction. Ask if the entire camp staff is trained and has reviewed all emergency policies related to peanut allergies and how to administer medication to combat peanut allergy reactions.

Get all medication and medical documentation. It’s important that all summer camp staff have information regarding your child’s peanut allergy. They might be well-equipped to handle the worst-case scenarios but all peanut allergies are different.

Discuss an individual healthcare plan to be completed by a camp nurse before the start of the camp. This ensures the medical staff will know what to do in the case of a peanut allergy reaction.

Provide two epinephrine auto-injectors to medical staff at the camp. Most likely, the camp will already have these “epi-pens” on hand in case of an emergency but in order to be safe, always suggest or provide your own. Confirm that the staff has been training to administer this type of medication.

Share peanut allergy documentation that’s specific to your child. This may include what he or she can and cannot eat and if there are any alternative foods available for your child.

Educate Your Child

No matter how knowledgeable the summer camp staff are about peanut allergies, your child is the true preventer of any medical issues. Inform them of the risks of eating a candy bar with peanuts or a handful of trail mix while out on a hike away from camp. Doctors normally prescribe epi-pens to parents and their children to carry on them at all times. During camp season, it’s important to make sure your child has an epi-pen nearby in case of a peanut allergy reaction.

Educate your child about what can cause reactions and what to stay away from:

  • NEVER trade food with other campers.
  • Don’t eat anything with unknown ingredients.
  • Read every label and check with a counselor.
  • Tell an adult if a reaction seems to be starting, even if there’s no visible sign of an allergic reaction.
  • Don’t go off alone if symptoms are beginning.

Help Your Child Enjoy Their Summer

There’s no room for fear when it comes to your child’s summer full of adventure and excitement, so make sure they’re not focusing too much on their peanut allergy. As you begin to experience the way summer camps operate, you’ll get a better understanding about how staff handles and treats any type of medical conditions.

When it comes to peanut allergies, the best way to help your child enjoy their summer is by awareness, not fear. Let your child know that it’s completely normal to have a peanut allergy but to steer away from anything that could potentially cause them to get sick. It’ll help you rest easier while your child is away, and your child will cherish every second of his or her summer away from home.

About the Author

Lisa Green is a single mother to an opinionated princess, working full-time in office management while also writing articles on event management, leadership, and DIY tips. You can find Lisa on Google+.

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15 responses to “Planning For Summer Camps With Food Allergies”

  1. Robin Masshole mommy Avatar
    Robin Masshole mommy

    One of my really good friends son has tree nut allergies and I never realized how much she did to keep him safe. These are great tips!

  2. Christy Maurer Avatar

    The most vivid camp memory I have is from Brownie Day Camp. We learned so many fun songs that I still sing today! It’s got to be hard with so many food allergies now. I cannot remember anyone being allergic to peanuts back when I was little.

  3. Stacie @ Divine Lifestyle Avatar

    I never actually went to camp. I grew up in the south, so summer was my camp. I can’t imagine sending a child with food allergies of to camp, though. O_o

  4. Lyndsey Jones Avatar

    Camping is so much fun and well worth doing for the memories you make alone. I’m glad you gave these pointers too.

  5. Miranda Myrabev Avatar

    These are some important tips for dealing with kid’s allergies while they are away camping. Many parents can benefit from reading this.

  6. Jeanine Avatar

    I’m lucky none of my kiddos have allergies but I can’t imagine those who do and camp! I don’t think a lot of us even think about it!

  7. Christi from Avatar

    Luckily we do not have to deal with food allergies with our kids. I know that it can be hard for some parents. These are great tips.

  8. touristmeetstraveler Avatar

    Food allergies are a really tough sometimes, you have to make sure that everything is safe! Especially if your kids alone, they should know to as whether something may contain food they can’t have.

  9. Susan Quackenbush Avatar

    My granddaughter suffers from food allergies so she’s always been limited in where she can go and what she can participate in. Just last year, she went to her first specialized summer camp for kids with allergies and it was the greatest experience of her life! I love these programs and hope to see more like them in the future! 🙂

  10. Bonnie @ wemake7 Avatar
    Bonnie @ wemake7

    Those are really great tips. My youngest is lactose intellorant but too young for camp and school right now.

  11. Lynndee Avatar

    We’re thankful our son doesn’t have allergies. But my friend’s son does have allergies. I will share this with her. Anyway, I’ve never been to a summer camp. We would love to send our son to a summer camp though.

  12. lisa Avatar

    These are really great tips. Thankfully none of my kids have food allergies but we have a lot of friends whose children have bad food allergies.

  13. krystal Avatar

    I never went to camp when I was younger so I never really thought about this. This is kind of a big deal though now, and I will think about it with our own kid!

  14. manuela W. Avatar
    manuela W.

    These are great tips. It takes so much to keep kids with allergies safe. It’s so important to share this info.

  15. Kelly Hutchinson Avatar

    Goodness, it is hard enough to find a good camp, without worrying about food allergies. This is such a helpful post for parents who have that issue with their kids. Thanks for sharing!