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.
Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links.
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+.
What is your favorite summer camp memory?
If you find this article helpful and useful, please share it with your family and friends. Sharing helps Uplifting Families grow. Thank you for visiting.