Your children may already be looking forward to summer camp. But when it comes to kids with asthma or allergies, parents need to take extra steps in planning their outdoor experience.
“Kids with allergies and asthma need an extra layer of preparation to ensure they stay healthy and enjoy their adventure,” said Dr. Bradley Chipps, president of the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology.
“Parents have to make sure they have packed the right medications and that there’s been communication with the camp in advance to keep their child’s symptoms under control,” he explained in a college news release.
Before the child goes to camp, consult with the youngster’s allergist to assess whether the medications are effective and symptoms are under control. It’s a good idea to make any necessary adjustments in advance, Chipps said. You also should ask the allergist to prepare a personalized plan for your child that can be shared with camp staff.
If food allergies are an issue, be sure your child knows how to watch out for allergens. The child should also always carry an epinephrine auto injector, and a spare. Chipps recommends talking to kitchen staff and informing camp counselors and medical staff about the foods that can trigger an allergic reaction in your child.
Be sure your child has all the necessary medical supplies and that prescriptions are the correct dose and up to date, he added.
If you think your child’s allergies and asthma are too severe for a regular summer camp, check into specialty camps, Chipps said. For example, some camps are just for children with asthma or just for those with food allergies, and they have specialized staff and medical providers.
The American Academy of Family Physicians has more on food allergies.