Going to camp is an exciting adventure for children and parents, but can also be a stressful time. Here are some tips to help prepare for Summer Camp:
Stay in Touch
Ask if the camp offers ways to connect with your camper, such as email or by phone. You may also want to ask about wireless access if your child has a mobile device. Additionally, give them an easy way to reach you. Try self-addressed, stamped postcards that are ready to go whenever they want to write home.
Talk to Your Child
Let your children know that it’s okay to be worried, a little nervous, or to miss home at first. Be encouraging and remind them that this will be an adventure and home will be there when they return.
Pack Something Familiar
If they’re ever feeling homesick, a trinket from home can be comforting – whether it’s a photo, blanket, stuffed animal or their favorite toy.
Have Them Log Their Trip
Encourage your children to preserve camp memories. Disposable cameras and journals are great mediums for them to share their experiences with friends and family, and to relive their adventure.
What To Pack For Summer Camp:
In addition to the usual sneakers, towel, swimsuit and toiletries, here’s what other items are highly recommended to bring along (and don’t forget to label everything!):
- First and foremost, your child is never fully packed without a camp physical. Physicals ensure your campers are in good health before they head off for a schedule full of physical activity. Did you know that your nearest CVS Minute Clinic provides camp physicals? Also called pre-participation physicals, camp physicals are a great way to make sure a camper can safely participate in activities. Some camps require a physical, but even if it’s not required, it’s a great way to stay on top of your camper’s health.
- Sun protection: broad spectrum sunscreen (this protects against UVB and UVA rays), lip balm with SPF, and 100% UV protection sunglasses.
- A small first aid kit: bandages, antiseptic, poison ivy cream and insect and bite relief cream
- A flashlight and spare set of batteries.
- Medications with dosage instructions. Remember to inform camp staff of your child’s specific medical needs.
- If you child has allergies, make sure to inform staff and provide the appropriate over-the-counter or prescription medications.
Here’s a handy Summer Camp Checklist for your little camper. Just click on the picture and print it out!
Common Summer Camp Ailments: Especially at camp, the summer is full of outdoor activities, and that’s that’s what makes it the most fun, right? Outdoor recreational activities support a healthy lifestyle, so you want to get them out and play – but be prepared in case any mishaps come along, like exposure to Poison Ivy, Poison Oak and bug bites:
Poison Ivy & Oak You know what they say – leaves of three, let it be.
- Spotting Poison Ivy: Poison ivy has three pointed leaves that can grow as a bush or a vine. These leaves change color with the seasons: Reddish in the spring; Green in the summer; Yellow, orange or red in the fall.
- Spotting Poison Oak: Poison oak has three leaves shaped in lobes resembling those of an oak tree. Poison oak grows in low shrubs as long vines.
- Preventative Measures: Cover up with closed shoes, socks, long pants, long sleeves, and gloves. Wash any clothes that come in contact with poisonous plants as soon as possible. If you are exposed, wash your skin with soap and water, or rubbing alcohol immediately. Though the timeframe varies, a rash usually begins to develop after 10 minutes.
- Scrub under your nails. Poison ivy and oak oil can be spread to other areas of the body if oil is beneath the nail.
- If there is a chance your pet has been exposed, give them a thorough bath. Wear rubber gloves while bathing your pets.
- Routinely wash sports equipment, gardening tools, and other outdoor items with soap and water. Oil from poison ivy and other poisonous plants can remain potent for as long as 5 years.
Should your child get exposed to poison ivy or oak, did you know that at MinuteClinic, their nurse practitioners and physicians assistants can recommend the right over-the-counter treatments and write prescriptions when medically appropriate?
Bug Bites and Stings
Bee stings and bug bites – ouch! Minute Clinic practitioners can help when you have a painful bite. Reactions can range from mild to severe and multiple stings can be serious, especially in children.
Using insect repellent safely:
o Never spray directly on your face. Spray your hands and rub them carefully over your face avoiding the eyes and mouth. o Use sparingly around the ears.
o Never use repellents on wounds or irritated skin.
o Wash skin after coming indoors.
o Avoid products with more than 50% DEET
o Minimize use of insect repellent if you are pregnant or nursing.
Too much time in the sun? Sunburn can range in severity from mild redness to painful blisters and swelling. It can also be accompanied by serious conditions such as heatstroke, dehydration or skin infection. MinuteClinic can give a thorough assessment and proper medical care.
Sunburn Prevention tips:
o Use the shadow rule to measure UV exposure: a shadow that is longer than you mean UV exposure is low; a shadow that is shorter than you means UV exposure is high.
o Wear protective clothing including, a hat with a brim 4 inches or wider, sunglasses with 100% UV protection, loose fitting, tightly woven clothing that cover the arms and legs, or clothing made with sun protective fabrics.
o Use a higher SPF at when you are near water, at higher elevations or in tropical climates. Sunscreen effectiveness is affected by the wind, humidity and altitude.
o Know the lingo: opt for broad spectrum sunscreen which protects against both UVB and UVA rayso Wearing a t-shirt in the water does not protect your skin unless sunscreen has also been applied underneath.
o If you have dry skin, use lotion or cream sunscreen. For oily skin, or if you are in a primarily dusty or sandy area, use a gel, which dries without leaving a film.
Remember CVS Minute Clinic nurse practitioners and physician assistants are always ready to:
- Review health history and immunizations
- Perform a thorough physical exam
- Complete and stamp required paperwork