Summer’s here and for many children, that means summer camp is right around the corner. While camp provides adventures that lay the foundation for memories that last a lifetime, some of those adventures come with slight risks not associated with daily activities. It’s no reason to keep your kids home! Just ensure they know all about staying safe at summer camp before they head off into the wilds.
Start by selecting a camp that’s best suited to keep your kids safe. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends every summer camp have written health policies and emergency procedures. You’ll need to do your part by providing the camp with complete information about your child’s health history, including special circumstances like allergies, medication schedules and health conditions.
Good summer camps will provide supervision from instructors or counselors with training or certification in CPR, first aid and life jackets, but don’t rely on camp staff to keep your child safe. Educate your child about ways she can keep herself safe while at camp:
- Stay hydrated: Campers can get so excited about activities that they forget to drink enough water. Remind your child to drink plenty of water throughout the day, even if he doesn’t feel thirsty.
- Protect against the sun: Teach your child to apply sunscreen 30 minutes before any activity in the sun, and to reapply sunscreen every few hours.
- Be water safe: Regardless of your child’s swimming ability, she should stay out of pools and open water without adult supervision.
- Watch out for ticks: Ticks live in many wooded areas in Colorado. Teach your child what a tick bite looks like – as well as the importance of not trying to remove it themselves. Ticks should be removed with tweezers to prevent detaching their heads below the skin.
- Let wildlife be: Some campers may get an up-close glimpse at wild animals – and shouldn’t confuse them with pets. Wild animals may attack if they feel threatened, so caution children to remain a safe distance from all critters.
Staying safe at summer camp is usually easy for children who go to camp aware of the dangers it poses as well as strategies to avoid it. With a little preparation on your part, you can rest easy while your kids are away.