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Can My Child With Allergies Attend Sleep-Away Camp?

Allergy Doctor

Each summer, approximately 10 million children will head to camp. For those kids with food allergies, asthma, and other health concerns, it’s a chance for them to strike out on their own, and for their parents, it’s a chance to see just how worried they can become.

According to the New York Times, between a quarter and a half of the youngsters at any given summer camp are prescribed daily meds, with allergy drugs and asthma drugs topping all the lists. Camps are well aware of your concerns, with many camps even specifically catering to kids with particular allergies.

However, unlike day camp, you cannot pack every single meal for sleep away camp, so you will have to do some research and planning. Accidents can happen, and the best way to avoid them is with careful planning.

Asking the Right Questions

When you’re trying to pick a camp, ask as many questions as possible, especially what kinds of health services it offers. A report in Pediatrics, written by Dr. Edward Walton, FAAP, FACEP, showed that almost half of camp health officers cared for children with significant medical needs, including diabetes, asthma, ADHD, and epilepsy.

But less than half of these councillors had medical training at the paramedic level or less; 40% of those asked said it would take an ambulance more than 10 minutes to get to their camp; and more than 70% said the receiving hospital was small.

You should communicate openly, early, and often about any health problems your child may face. Some good questions for parents to ask are:

  •         How often do you deal with allergies/asthma/food allergies?
  •         Is there a trained nurse available 24 hours a day?
  •         How far is the nearest hospital?
  •         Is there phone service/cell service from all areas of the camp?
  •         Do all counselors and staff members know how to use EpiPens and inhalers?

Provide the camp with a list of your child’s medicines, including the daily dose with any instructions and warnings clearly visible, and a list of whatever food your child may be allergic to. Sleep away camps will usually have even a rough menu of what meals they will serve, that they can provide for parents beforehand.

In today’s world, there’s no reason why any child cannot attend a sleep away camp due to allergies. Given a little effort and co-operation between you and the camp, your child can certainly cultivate very happy memories over a healthy summer.

Seek Help from an Allergy Doctor

Finding an allergy doctor isn’t as hard as you think and once you find one, you’ll not only have peace of mind, but you’ll rest assured that your kid will have fun at the camp.

If your child is experiencing any allergy symptoms, let us help you find relief. Book an assessment with Houston Sinus & Allergy today!