Summer Camp Essentials

School is out for the summer which means kids’ camps are right around the corner. Before you send your little ones out for a week of campfires, crafts, and fun in the sun, make sure to send them off with the essentials to keep them healthy throughout the week. Here are some good things to make sure to pack for your camper before they head out the door.

  1. Sunscreen – Being at a summer camp means that kids will be out in the sun a lot. Protect their skin from sunburns by packing sunscreen that is SPF 30 or higher. Tell them that they should apply it before going outside and should reapply it every two hours.
  2. Bug spray – Pack bug spray to help keep insects away. You’ll want to get a kind with DEET in it to further prevent bugs like ticks from spreading their diseases. Teach your camper how to properly use the bug spray based on the container’s directions. To be extra cautious, remind them to check themselves over from time to time for any bugs that may have become attached to your child.
  3. Proper Outerwear – Along with sunscreen and bug spray, an easy way to help protect their skin from the sun and bugs is with proper outdoor clothes. This includes lightly-colored long-sleeve t-shirts, lightly-colored pants such as khakis, and hats. These lighter in color clothes will help protect their skin while also not overheating them. Shorter ankle-cut socks may be popular right now, but for camping purposes, longer socks are a better choice as they will protect ankles against bug bites.
  4. Correct Footwear – Summer camps are full of activities that will involve a lot of movement. Campers need the right shoes for the job so that they don’t slip, trip, and get injured. Make sure they are taking shoes that are good for outdoor fun like tennis shoes. If they want to (and are allowed to) bring footwear like sandals or flip-flops they can, but you should make sure they know they should only wear them when doing a more relaxed activity and that they should apply sunscreen and bug spray to their feet accordingly.
  5. Reusable Water Bottle – In the hot summer sun, hydration is key. Encourage them to take frequent water breaks and to refill their water bottle often. A lot of water bottles on the market today have markings on the side that help keep track of your water intake. They can also watch to make sure they are urinating regularly and that their urine is a light yellow color.
  6. Prescription Medications – If your child is on any prescription medications, put them in a sealed bag along with directions for each. Your child should let any camp medics or nurses know about their medications as soon as they are able. Generally, you will not need to send basic medical supplies as the camp staff will have them in stock including basic over-the-counter pain relievers like ibuprofen and acetaminophen.
  7. Memento of Home – No matter if they are veterans of summer camp or first-timers, every kid gets homesick from time to time. All kids will be different, but you can help sooth your camper by sending a small keepsake from home to remind them that their situation and homesickness is only temporary. You want to find a happy medium between meaningful and cost-efficient. The memento should be small and cheap so that if it is lost, it is not a big deal; but you also want it to have meaning so that it can put your child at ease. One easy option is to get a small picture keychain and put a picture in it that will sooth them in it like a family member or pet.

Preparing your child for summer camp can help keep them healthy and safe but sometimes accidents and illnesses still happen. If they do, bring your camper into see us and we will get them back to feeling better again in no-time.

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