With the return of the warmer months, it’s officially that time of year for kids again: summer camp season. In previous years, this time of year inspired excitement, learning activities galore, and a chance to socialize with friends our little ones hadn’t seen in weeks. Now, with the health risks of a lingering pandemic, summer camp is inciting a new set of emotions for families. For some, it’s still filled with excitement as our children look forward to seeing friends after an extended time away – but it’s also filling many parents with dread and anxiety as things slowly open back up. There seems to be one burning question: how do we keep our kids safe, yet allow them the much-needed camp time? Let’s take a look at the best way to plan for summer camp safety this year.
Planning for Summer Camp Safety
As facilities begin to reinstate their public programs – including summer camp activities – there will undoubtedly be questions surrounding the safety of staff and children as things phase back to pre-pandemic “norms.” In order to ensure our families and friends maintain the highest level of health and safety, there are a few precautionary measures that need to be observed. The best way to make sure this happens is to check local and national guidelines and recommendations as well as speak directly with camp staff prior to enrollment. Summer camp safety depends entirely on the diligence of our community members to remain in the loop and practice safe public habits.
Prepare Children for Safe Public Interactions
By now you’ve likely mastered the list of safe public health practices like handwashing, no face-touching, social distancing, and mask-wearing. Knowing these practices and ensuring our children practice them as well can be two different beasts altogether, however. Prior to the start of camp, be sure to reiterate with your children the required safe health practices such as:
- Distancing. Teach your children to avoid unnecessary close contact or touching of other campers and staff. Keeping the 6-feet rule will help stop any potential spread.
- Personal Hygiene. Be sure kids are washing hands frequently and properly. They need to be aware of restroom facility locations and how/when to use them for washing as needed.
- Movement and Etiquette. As difficult as it may be, make sure children are practicing critical health etiquette actions like coughing or sneezing in an elbow (not hands) or in a tissue. Also, make sure they are aware they should avoid touching their faces as much as possible.
Stay Informed and in Contact with Camp Officials
In addition to general health and safety guidelines, summer camp safety will also depend on several other actions and needed supplies. Check with camp officials to understand the full list of regulations for your child’s safety and to understand the protocols in place. You can also check to see if there are any additional supplies or support needed to ensure the safety of all campers this summer. Stay informed, stay vigilant, and help keep our campers happy and healthy!