Choosing a summer camp can be a daunting task for parents of food allergic children. Some wonder whether summer camp can be safe for their child. Following is a list of helpful tips to help you get started on choosing the right summer camp.
1. Start a year in advance It may seem crazy but if you have a child with medical needs, starting your camp search a year in advance gives you time to plan, be prepared and feel confident with your choice.
2. Consider an ACA accredited camp ACA stands for the American Camp Association (http://www.acacamps.org/). Only 30% of summer camps are accredited. However, when choosing an accredited camp you can feel a little better about that choice due to the strict guidelines enforced to be ACA accredited.
3. Do Your Homework Don't pick a camp just because it looks nice or because a friend or family member recommends it. Check out the camp online, go to camp fairs and open houses. Now is the time to really look and ask serious questions.
4. Be Realistic What are your and your child's expectations of a summer camp experience? What type of camp does your child want or need? Not all camps are created equally and not every child is right for every camp.
5. Speak to the Camp Director, Staff and camp Chef Be prepared and draft a list of questions beforehand. Make sure they are prepared to deal with food allergies and have in the past. Get references from food allergic families and ask them the same questions.
These five tips will get you well on your way to choosing the right summer camp for your food allergic child.