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Tips from a Camp Doctor who is also a Camp Dad

By Dr. Chris Wangard

1) The new system for health forms is a little different than previous years.  When completing your children’s health information, EVEN IF THEY DON’T TAKE ROUTINE MEDICATION, be sure and go to the medications tab, select over the counter medications, and give permission for Camp to give medications that are safe for your child.  This will ensure that we can take care of headaches, tummy aches, and other minor concerns as quickly as possible so your kids can get back to fun activities.

2) If it is safe to do so, please have as many medications as possible given at mealtimes rather than other times.  Some medications may normally be given at bedtime at home as a matter of routine, but will be much easier for your child if they can be given at dinner.  Some medications (such as those for night wetting, sleep aids, or any medication known to cause drowsiness) should be given at bedtime, but allowing the rest to be done at dinner will help make medication time easier for your child AND camp!

3) Be sure that your child understands any food allergies well.  Your child will be offered foods that are safe for them, but if they don’t understand their allergies, they could take food not safe for them either at meals or from friends.  Be sure they know if they are not sure, they can ask any staff member to help them!  

4) Send AT LEAST two pairs of shoes that you are ok with never seeing again.  The number of kids who lose shoes is large!

5) Talk to your child about when to use sunblock, when to use bug spray, and about showering when instructed.  Some shower times are just for good hygiene, but other shower times are specifically to reduce chances of poison ivy.  Nothing will make a week miserable quicker than sunburn, poison ivy, or lots of bites!

6) Send a small backpack to carry water bottles, sunblock, bug spray, and odds and ends.  In my experience, they will only carry 1-2 items, and a small bag will keep these things all in one place AND allow for an extra water bottle or two, which is always a good idea.

7) The need to drink lots of water can’t be overemphasized.  Give your child some specific ideas, such as drinking at least 2-3 glasses of water EVERY meal and several full water bottles per day.  Make sure they understand that the amount of water that they drink at home won’t be enough to keep them healthy at camp.  

If you could please spend a little time addressing these items, we at Camp will be very thankful. You will help your child avoid common pitfalls that can result in pain, inconvenience, delay, and discomfort! 

Thank you and Heepwah!

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