By: Neil L. Kao, MD
It’s that time of year again for outdoor activities. There are plenty of risky situations for allergic reactions, but with good decision making and careful planning, these risks can be minimized.
Many parents are planning to have their child attend one of the many summer camps offered in the area.
There are precautions to take that can help you get through the summer without serious allergic reactions:
- Make sure you have submitted all forms to the camp directors regarding your child’s allergies.
- Talk with the camp nurse or doctor and make them aware of your child’s allergy symptoms and medications. Know who will be in charge of their medications.
- If your child has food allergies, make sure the camp knows exactly what these forbidden foods are and that they are prepared to handle an emergency should one occur. Provide safe snacks for your child.
- If your child has insect allergies make sure the staff is aware. Make sure epinephrine is available at all times.
- If your child is allergic to pollen or mold, be sure that their medications are available and will be given as prescribed by their physician. Be sure you understand the camp policy regarding medications.
- If your child has asthma make certain that you have discussed with the staff all triggers that cause your child’s asthma flare ups. Know the camp’s policy regarding children carrying their asthma inhalers.
- If your child is on an extended camping trip and is on allergy injections, ask if the camp nurse or doctor is trained in administering these injections.
- Make sure camp staff is aware if your child has contact allergy to plants such as poison ivy or poison oak. Check to see if they have medications available to treat if necessary.
- Leave emergency numbers and make sure the staff can reach you at all times.
Camp is a great experience for your child. With careful preparation, camping can be safe even for children with allergies.
HAVE A GREAT SUMMER!