When school is out and you want your kids to continue learning, you can enroll them in summer camps. You can also plan outdoor expeditions or camping trips, which will serve both as a learning experience as they get closer to nature and as a bonding time for your family.
Of course, as a parent, you would think about the health and safety of the kids, especially if they will be away from home for a few days. Here are five tips to consider from a pediatrics office:
- Study the program and place.
If you have a list of summer camps or camping destinations in mind, assess the important safety-related aspects of each choice. Will there be trained first aiders or health professionals on-site? Will the kids be monitored by enough adults at all times? If there will be swimming, boating, or fishing activities, are there life jackets and other safety equipment? Make sure there are.
- Get the right vaccines and checkups.
Get a pediatric doctor to examine your child, and check which vaccines your child ought to have as a protection from diseases that are commonly acquired outdoors or with crowds. Sports physicals are recommended if your child will be enrolled in sports clinics. Immunizations against the flu, tetanus, hepatitis A, and other infectious or highly contagious illnesses would also be advised.
- Prepare a “survival” backpack or first-aid kit.
If your child has allergies, asthma, or any other special condition, make sure he/she brings emergency medications. Other supplies, like bandages and iodine for cleaning wounds, may be accessible at the site, but to be safe, you can also have your child bring these items.
- Promote food safety and healthy hydration.
Teach your child how to tell properly stored, prepared, and cooked food from spoiled or possibly contaminated ones. Make sure he/she knows the sources of safe, potable water, or have him/her bring enough bottles for day trips. If the child will be joining exhausting activities or be exposed to the sun, reinforce the need to drink plenty of fluids throughout the activities.
- Observe the child for any health concerns.
Some sicknesses take time before they become obvious, so be watchful of the child’s health and behavior when he/she gets home. Watch out for rashes (which may be caused by allergies), scratching (which may be a sign of head lice), and vomiting or diarrhea (which indicate stomach flu or food poisoning). When these and other signs of illness show up, take the child for a checkup and/or treatment by a pediatrician in Littleton, like the doctors from Focus on Kids Pediatrics.
Keeping Kids Safe at Summer Camp, WebMD
Camping Health and Safety Tips, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention