Skip to content

    Health & Pregnancy

    Font Size
    A
    A
    A

    Keeping Kids Safe at Summer Camp

    By
    WebMD Feature
    Reviewed by Dominique Walton, MD

    From nature walks to cookouts to sing-a-longs -- camp has many fun and exciting things to offer kids freed from school and homework during the long, hot summer months.

    But before packing your child off to camp, you should get to know what medical and safety services are available -- or not, as the case may be.

    For starters, according to recommendations from the American Academy of Pediatrics, a good camp will have written health policies and protocols. And all children attending the camp should be required to have had a complete exam by a doctor in the past year and be up-to-date on all childhood shots.

    Before camp starts, parents should make sure the leaders have a detailed health history of their child, including any significant illnesses, operations, injuries, allergies, and any current medical problems.

    "A lot of camps have a nurse or other medical person on-site. That would be an important question to ask when looking at camps -- what kind of medical support do they have, and is there a place where kids can go if they don't feel well," says Garry Gardner, MD, a pediatrician in private practice in Darien, Ill., and a member of the academy's national panel on injury and poison prevention.

    "Most camps, I would think, would have first-aid supplies on the premises -- but that's a valid question as well. How do they stock the first-aid or the medical office or clinic?"

    And not every problem is a physical illness or injury -- you also might want to know how the camp handles outbreaks of homesickness.

    Eight out of 10 campers report being homesick at least one day at camp, according to American Camping Association statistics. The good news: Less than 10% of those cases are so serious -- the child becomes so anxious or depressed that he stops eating or sleeping -- that they are sent home.

    What, Exactly, Will Your Kid Be Doing?

    Gardner says parents should also ask questions about activities available at a potential camp. If your child will be involved in boating, swimming, or other water sports, for example, you'll want to know about such things as life jackets, supervision, and the CPR certification of instructors.

    1 | 2 | 3 | 4

    Pregnancy Week-By-Week Newsletter

    Delivered right to your inbox, get pictures and facts on
    what to expect each week of your pregnancy.

    Today on WebMD

    hand circling date on calendar
    Track your most fertile days.
    woman looking at ultrasound
    Week-by-week pregnancy guide.
     
    Pretty pregnant woman timing contaction pains
    The signs to watch out for.
    pregnant woman in hospital
    Are there ways to do it naturally?
     
    slideshow fetal development
    Slideshow
    pregnancy first trimester warning signs
    Article
     
    What Causes Bipolar
    Video
    Woman trying on dress in store
    Slideshow
     
    pregnant woman
    Article
    Woman looking at pregnancy test
    Quiz
     
    calendar and baby buggy
    Tool
    dark chocolate squares
    Slideshow