As a person with awesome Summer Camp memories, and knowing many parents are sending their kiddos off to Summer Camp, I was excited to partner with MinuteClinic for this sponsored post. Hopefully you find this Ultimate Guide to Summer Camp Preparation helpful in your planning!
It’s time to get #ReadySetCamp and send those little munchkins off to Summer Camp! Adventures, new friends, and memories to last a lifetime. Man do I miss that mudslide!
Every parent wants to send their child off with confidence to Summer Camp. Going to camp is an exciting adventure for children and parents, but can also be a stressful time. Here are some tips to help prepare you and your child.
Summer Camp Preparation Tips
1) Stay in Touch
Find out if the camp offers ways to connect with your camper. Email, phone, and letters may be options. If letters are an option you can often leave them at the camp at drop off to be given to your child each day, or consider mailing them out a few day early so they arrive on time.
For your child, leave them a few self-addressed, stamped postcards that are ready to go whenever they want to write home. You may also want to ask about wireless access if your child has a mobile device, which gives them an easy way to reach you if needed.
2) Talk to Your Child
Talk with your child all about Summer Camp before dropping them off. Let your children know that it’s okay to be worried, a little nervous, or to miss home at first. Be encouraging and remind them that this will be an adventure and home will be there when they return, especially the younger kids.
3) Pack Something Familiar
Just like you would with a sleepover, pack something familiar from home. If they’re ever feeling homesick, a trinket from home can be comforting. A photo, blanket, stuffed animal or their favorite toy are great options.
4) Have Them Log Their Trip
I really wish my parents had told me to log my Summer Camp adventures back in the day! I have a few pictures and mementos but that’s about it.
Taking a long a disposable camera and a journal are great ways to document the camp and share those experiences with friends and family at home, and to relive the memories later.
5) Ensure Good Health with a Camp Physical
Your child is never fully packed and ready to go without a camp physical. Physicals ensure your campers are in good health before they head off for a schedule full of physical activity. Did you know you can Prepare Your Camper at MinuteClinic?
MinuteClinic offers Camp Physicals, also called pre-participation physicals, and they are a great way to make sure a camper can safely participate in activities.
Some camps require a physical, but even if it’s not required, it’s a great way to stay on top of your camper’s health. The nurse practitioners and physician assistants at MinuteClinic are ready to:
- Review health history and immunizations
- Perform a thorough physical exam
- Complete and stamp required paperwork
What to Pack for Summer Camp
When it comes to packing for Summer Camp, there are some highly recommend items in addition to the usual sneakers, towel, swimsuit and toiletries.
- Broad Spectrum Sunscreen (this protects against UVB and UVA rays)
- Lip Balm with SPF
- 100% UV protection sunglasses
- A small first aid kit with bandages, antiseptic, poison ivy cream and insect and bite relief cream
- Flashlight with a spare set of batteries
- Medications with dosage instructions (Remember to inform camp staff of your child’s specific medical needs and if you child has allergies, make sure to inform staff and provide the appropriate over-the-counter or prescription medications.)
Tips for Common Summer Ailments
Outdoor activities are in full swing during the Summer, especially at camp. Fun adventures outdoors are why kids love Summer Camp, right?!
Along with those Summer Camp activities, comes the chance encounter with Summer ailments. Here are some helpful tips for common summer ailments:
1) Poison Ivy & Oak
You know they Poison Ivy saying right? Leaves of three, let it be. Check out these tips below, but if in doubt, remember that at MinuteClinic, the nurse practitioners and physicians assistants can recommend the right over-the-counter treatments and write prescriptions when medically appropriate to treat poison ivy and oak.
- Spotting Poison Ivy: Poison ivy has three pointed leaves that can grow as a bush or a vine. These leaves change color with the seasons: Reddish in the Spring, Green in the Summer, and Yellow, Orange or Red in the Fall
- Spotting Poison Oak: Poison oak has three leaves shaped in lobes resembling those of an oak tree. Poison oak grows in low shrubs as long vines.
- Preventative Measures: Cover up with closed shoes, socks, long pants, long sleeves, and gloves. Wash any clothes that come in contact with poisonous plants as soon as possible.
- Exposure: If you are exposed, wash your skin with soap and water, or rubbing alcohol immediately. Though the timeframe varies, a rash usually begins to develop after 10 minutes. Scrub under your nails. Poison ivy and oak oil can be spread to other areas of the body if oil is beneath the nail.
- Exposed Pets: If there is a chance your pet has been exposed, give them a thorough bath. Wear rubber gloves while bathing your pets.
- Routinely wash sports equipment, gardening tools, and other outdoor items with soap and water.
- Oil from poison ivy and other poisonous plants can remain potent for as long as 5 years.
2) Bug Bites and Stings
Bee stings and bug bites can really hurt! Reactions can range from mild to severe and multiple stings can be serious, especially in children.
If you ever questions a bug bite or sting, MinuteClinic can provide a proper assessment, clean the site of the sting to prevent infection and recommend the proper treatment plan to deal with itching and swelling.
With all the random spider bites we hear about, I’d rather be save than sorry and let the MinuteClinic Practitioners help when I have a painful bite. You?
- Using insect repellent safely: Never spray directly on your face. Spray your hands and rub them carefully over your face avoiding the eyes and mouth. Use sparingly around the ears.
- Never use repellents on wounds or irritated skin.
- Wash skin after coming indoors.
- Avoid products with more than 50% DEET
- Minimize use of insect repellent if you are pregnant or nursing
I have skin that burns easily so I’ve always been extra careful to take care my kiddos skin in the sun. Ya know, just in case they inherited my sensitive outer layer.
Sunburn can range in severity from mild redness to painful blisters and swelling. It can also be accompanied by serious conditions such as heatstroke, dehydration or skin infection. Another great thing MinuteClinic can do is give a thorough assessment and proper medical care.
- Use the shadow rule to measure UV exposure: a shadow that is longer than you mean UV exposure is low; a shadow that is shorter than you means UV exposure is high
- Wear protective clothing including, a hat with a brim 4 inches or wider, sunglasses with 100% UV protection, loose fitting, tightly woven clothing that cover the arms and legs, or clothing made with sun protective fabrics.
- Use a higher SPF at when you are near water, at higher elevations or in tropical climates. Sunscreen effectiveness is affected by the wind, humidity and altitude.
- Know the lingo: opt for broad spectrum sunscreen which protects against both UVB and UVA rays
- Wearing a t-shirt in the water does not protect your skin unless sunscreen has also been applied underneath.
- If you have dry skin, use lotion or cream sunscreen. For oily skin, or if you are in a primarily dusty or sandy area, use a gel, which dries without leaving a film.
Outdoor recreational activities support a healthy lifestyle, so get out there and play, whether it is at Summer Camp or in your own backyard! But, in case any mishaps come along, MinuteClinic is there when you need them, and especially for those Camp Physicals right now.