Sending Your Child to Summer Camp With Allergies

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School is finally out and many kids will be going off to summer camp soon. As exciting as summer camp is, it can be scary for parents with allergic kids. Whether your child suffers from food, environmental, or insect allergies, it’s important to be cautious when sending them off to camp. Camp leaders may not know how to handle allergies. So follow these tips when sending your allergic child off to summer camp.

Pack Two EpiPens

Our allergists recommend always carrying two epinephrine auto-injectors. In some cases, one injection of epinephrine may not be enough. According to Healthline, up to 20% of people experiencing anaphylaxis will need more than one dose. Having two EpiPens could save a life. 

It’s also important to check the expiration date of your child’s epinephrine auto-injector. Expired ones may not work properly, as in the case of Rosemary, a woman who suffered from an allergic reaction in Costa Rica. Rosemary’s EpiPen failed to deliver epinephrine because it was expired. Thankfully, Rosemary overcame her allergic reaction. In a severe allergic situation, this can lead to a fatal result. 

Buy Them a Medical Alert Bracelet

Medical alert bracelets are available to let people know what your child is allergic to. When sending them off to summer camp, explain to your little one how they must wear it at all times. Try to get a waterproof bracelet if you know your camper will be in the water a lot this summer. We recommend a stainless steel medical alert bracelet like the ones shown below:

Provide a Food Allergy List to Kitchen Staff

When choosing a summer camp, reach out to some of the staff and see if they will provide you with a complete food list. If the list contains multiple allergens, provide them with a food allergy list that your child will enjoy. Don’t be afraid to ask them to prepare allergy-friendly options. 

You could also research some allergy-friendly summer camps before deciding on one. Make sure to read the review and see what other parents have to say about the camp. FARE (Food Allergy Research & Education) provides a list of some of the notable allergy-friendly camps in the country. 

Pack Extra Bug Spray

If your child suffers from a mosquito allergy, it’s essential to pack extra bug spray. There are so many brands to choose from, so do some research to decide which is best for your family. Consider the strength and hours of protection. 

In addition to using bug spray, remind your child to watch out for other stinging insects. A bee sting can be fatal for allergic individuals. Tell them to never provoke a stinging insect and to walk away slowly if they come across one. 

Have an Allergy Action Plan

If your child suffers from severe allergies, you should have an allergy action plan. Communicate with camp counselors about the plan to make sure they know the procedure for treating symptoms. If you don’t have an allergy action plan, visit our allergists for a personalized treatment plan for your family. We can help you determine what actions should be taken in the event of an allergic reaction and prescribe certain medications. Call (212) 686-4448 to book an appointment today!