You've made your summer camp choice. The hard part is over right? Not so fast. Now is the time to put a plan in place to make sure your food allergic child has a great (and reaction free) summer camp experience.
1. Get your paperwork in order It's important to fill out your camp paperwork well in advance. Make sure to mention all food allergies, asthma and any other medical concerns as well as multiple numbers where you can be reached.
2. Educate your Child Discuss food allergy management and advocacy with your child. Role play scenarios and how your child can handle them to avoid potential reactions. Think about where food might come into play in the camp situation other than meal times. Will there be food involved crafts or activities? What about special treats? Also discuss what your child should do in the event of a reaction.
3. Get Your Medications in Order Make sure you provide the camp with updated medications as well as a emergency care plan from your allergist. Find out who will be in charge of the plan and medications and where they will be kept. (Duplicates of medicationss and a care plan can't hurt either).
4. Plan to be MORE involved It's reality that the parent of a food allergic child might need to be more involved than the other parents. You might need to read food and craft labels among other things. Make it a point to communicate with and have a good relationship with the camp staff. Try to find out what the activities will be ahead of time to avoid disaster.
5. Expect the Unexpected It's a given that unexpected things will happen. Discuss a communication plan with the camp director, staff and your child. Speak with the camp chef and consider bringing your own food and snacks.
With a little extra work and effort, your child can have a safe and fun experience at summer camp.