Going to camp can be an unforgettable experience for young children, and for some it’s a rite of passage. Attending camp can have a positive effect on a child’s self-esteem, psychological development, and independence. Here are some tips for staying safe at camp, from the American Academy of Pediatrics.
Before you choose a camp, parents should evaluate the interests, skills, and overall well being of the child to make sure that he or she can fully participate. Working with your pediatrician and the camp health providers can help parents to medically and psychologically prepare their children for camp.
A common distress amongst campers is homesickness. To help prevent it, involve your child in choosing and preparing for camp, and be positive about the upcoming experience. Openly discuss homesickness, and arrange practice trips or sleepovers away from home with friends or relatives. Avoid making pre-arranged “pick-up” plans, which may cause a child to question their independence.
Make sure that you provide the camp with all the information they need to help your child stay safe and healthy, including a report on their overall health and well-being, any medications they may be taking, and any conditions that require long-term management such as asthma, diabetes, and serious allergies.
For help picking a camp that is right for your child – and additional information on preparing him or her for camp – please visit the American Camp Society online at http://www.acacamps.org/.
Read the full report here: http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/pediatrics/early/2011/03/28/peds.2011-0267.full.pdf