Sending your allergic child to sleepaway camp for the first time (well, actually, every time!) can be extremely scary. To ease your anxiety, we've put together a complete list of tips to help you prepare for sending your child away for the summer. We hope this helps!
- Prior to the start of camp, make sure the director is aware of your child's allergies.
- Make sure you and your child understand and are comfortable with the camp's level of allergy awareness. Is the camp nut-free, nut-aware or neither? Can campers bring their own food into camp and can they receive food care packages throughout the summer? If so, how can you be sure it is safe? What is the camp's policy on food brought into camp on visiting day or for summer birthday celebrations?
- Send all necessary medicine (check expiration dates!), prescriptions and emergency action plans to camp and then follow up with a phone call with the camp nurse. Confirm time of day and dosage of all daily and as-needed meds with the nurse. Also confirm that medicine will be refilled if needed during the time your child is at camp.
- Make sure a set of your child's medicine travels with him or her on the bus ride up to camp and that the bus counselor(s) are aware of the allergies.
- Ask about field trips, socials, inter camp games, camping trips and any other off-site excursions that might take place. Have the camp confirm that your child's medicine will go wherever your child goes, that there will be proper staff to administer medicine if needed and that all food will either be free of your child's allergens or the camp will provide an alternative for your child.
- Schedule a call with your child's bunk or group leader and make sure he or she understands the nature and severity of your child's allergy.
- Schedule a call with the camp chef to discuss all ingredients that are used in the kitchen and make sure you are comfortable with procedures in place for avoiding cross contamination.
- If possible, get in touch with the parents of your child's bunk mates and let them know about your child's allergies. Kindly ask them to be mindful of the allergies if they plan to send food for summer birthdays or visiting day. Offer to send a list of safe options including Bo & Ty Sweets.