While summer seems to be flying by, as per usual, there’s still plenty of time for your kids to be involved in summer camps and similar youth programs. With more than 14 million children and adults going to camp each year, summer camp is something every child should get to experience. But while summer camp can be loads of fun, it’s also important to ensure your child is being safe at camp. An injury can quickly ruin the camp experience, so let’s take a look at a few ways kids can be safe at camp this summer.
First things first, it’s important for kids to always stay hydrated. No matter what they’re doing, being outside without ample hydration is a recipe for disaster. Dehydration is extremely common during the summer, especially among young kids. So campers should always be drinking plenty of water. Most camps will provide water as needed or have drinking fountains stationed around the camp. Especially on hot, humid days, kids should make sure to always have water with them. As a parent, you can do your part in sending your kid to camp with a reusable water bottle so they can fill it up as needed.
Along with staying hydrated, kids should take extra care of protecting their skin while at camp. During the day, even when the sun isn’t out, kids should have plenty of sunscreen on. Sunburns aren’t only painful and annoying, but they can cause serious skin damage. Additionally, kids should wear bug spray to keep mosquitos at bay. Mosquito bites can be itchy and cause irritation, but they can also spread diseases like Lyme Disease. So it’s important for kids to protect themselves from bug bites. And lastly, kids should always be aware of their surroundings. When they’re in heavily wooded areas, they may come across plants like poison ivy, which 85% of people are allergic to. Poisonous plants can cause rashes and other skin irritation, so campers should always be on the lookout for them.
And last but not least, the most simple way campers can stay safe is by following the rules. Most camps have a safety program that is in place to protect campers. Camp staff, parents, and attendees should all be aware of the rules and why they’re in place. Staff members can do their part in enforcing the rules so kids can be protected. Safety programs or guides should also include camp staff understanding instructions for giving medications to campers. Unfortunately, about 7,000 Americans die each year due to medication errors. While camp staff members are properly trained in providing medications, parents and campers should ensure everyone understands which medications should be given when. Furthermore, rules regarding simple things like never swimming alone, having to wear a lifejacket, and being supervised when playing in certain areas can decrease the chance of injuries significantly.
So if your child is headed out to camp soon, consider sitting down with them and talking about safety. Camp can be a really fun experience, and being safe can make sure campers have fun without getting injured.