Dr. Joan Bregstein, pediatric emergency medicine physician at NewYork-Presbyterian/Morgan Stanley Children's Hospital, said when choosing a day camp or an extended-stay camp, parents should ask camp organizers basic questions about what plans they have in place to keep kids safe, handle medical emergencies and deal with routine health needs.
"Camp staff should be trained in first-aid/cardiopulmonary resuscitation and thoroughly familiar with the facility's protocol in case of a medical emergency," Bregstein said in a statement. "Parents should receive a copy of those guidelines or have access to them through a posting on the website or on a bulletin board at the facility."
Bregstein also recommended:
-- Parents give the camp emergency contacts. On the list should be the child's physician with telephone numbers, fax number and the date of the last healthcare visit. Parents should keep a copy of the list as well. If a child has a medical condition, camp staff should be told in advance.
-- The child get a physical and that vaccinations are up to date.
-- Parents remind children to drink plenty of water.
-- Packing lightweight clothing in light colors for the child.
-- Parents remind children to use sunblock of SPF 30 or greater.
-- Parents remind children to follow all camp rules in and around pools, lakes and other bodies of water.