Thursday, July 07, 2022

Summer Camp Essentials: Outdoor Health & Safety Checklist from MedStar Health

Many kids are getting ready to head to camp this summer and enjoy the great outdoors – but coming down with a sunburn or a painful bug bite can easily put a damper on their day, and even cause long term illness. While many camps don't allow young to put these things on their own, make sure you fill out all non-medication forms so that if they need any of these applied, the camp as the authority and your permission to do so.  

MedStar Health shares the checklist below to help parents pack the essentials for any outdoor adventure: 

Bug Spray 

Your kids will most likely explore spaces occupied by creatures such as ants, spiders, flies, bees, mosquitoes and ticks, which can cause harmful rashes, or serious illness (such as Lyme disease). Make sure they apply bug spray on their exposed skin and clothes before venturing outdoors. Children should also have long pants and long sleeved, lightweight clothing options to wear on hikes to help decrease the risk of insect bites. It is also important to teach your children how to check for ticks each night.

Calamine Lotion

Bug bites are very common during the summer months.  When bites occur despite use of bug spray, calamine lotion can be applied to ease itchiness and irritation.  Be sure your child knows to notify staff if there are any signs of infection, such as oozing, pain, increasing redness of the  area affected, so they can be seen and treated for a possible infection.

Sunscreen 

A sunburn can creep up on you, especially during a hike! Medical experts recommend the use of sunscreen lotion with an SPF of 30 or higher for any extended outdoor activity. It’s also important to reapply sunscreen every two hours - more frequently if you’ve been sweating or swimming. 

Sunglasses

Sun exposure damages the eyes as well as the skin. The best way to protect your eyes is to wear sunglasses that provide 99-100% UVA and UVB protection. This will greatly reduce sun exposure that can lead to cataracts and other forms of eye damage.

Acetaminophen or Ibuprofen 

Sunburn can be painful and uncomfortable so acetaminophen or ibuprofen can be used to help alleviate the pain or discomfort.  Sun poisoning can cause a range of symptoms including headache, fever, nausea and fatigue so young campers should know to reach out to an adult if they have these symptoms along with a significant sunburn, as they might need additional treatment.

First Aid Kit

Not only will a great first aid kit help you with injuries that commonly occur while out camping, but it can keep you prepared for survival situations that might arise while you are on your trip.

Refillable water bottle

Staying hydrated is extremely important, especially with increased outdoor activities over the summer.  Be sure your child knows to drink at least 3 bottles per day.  Help them get into the fun of having it with them all day by decorating it themselves with stickers and such.


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