A Letter for Camp

By Heather Legg

Many of you are getting ready to send your children off to camp, whether it is for a sleep away camp or a day camp, and those of with kids with allergy have just one more thing to worry about. I have found that it never hurts to write a letter with specifics regarding kids medical conditions, whether it is allergies, asthma, whatever, in addition to filling out all of the camp forms. You can then send it to multiple people at camp, including counselors, directors and medical staff to insure the information is well known and your child taken care of. If it is sleep away camp, you would also want to include the kitchen staff. It’s very similar to what you’d do at school, giving it to the teacher, administrators, lunch staff and nurse.

Here is a sample letter and you are welcome to use it as is or make modifications:

Dear ___________,
My child, ________________, is really looking forward to her camp days at Camp Summer. To make sure she has her safest and best time possible, it is important you are aware of her allergies. She is allergic to tree nuts and shellfish, and needs to avoid them in entirety. However, peanut butter is fine.

If she does come into contact with them, she may break out in hives or have an itchy swelling mouth. Worse case scenario is anaphylactic shock which can be life threatening. We are trusting her in your care and this is a serious matter. (list any other symptoms here).

She is aware of her allergy and knows what to avoid, but if others are eating these foods, please make sure my daughter has her own space and is not right next to the food. She also knows not to share food with others. It is a good idea to have her medication on her at all times, and she is capable of keeping it in her back pack. (Alternatively…She needs to have her medication on hand at all times so it is important her counselor keeps it with the group wherever they go.)

In case of any symptoms, please treat accordingly. If she has mild hives, Benadryl is sufficient but if there is any compromised breathing or swelling of airways, she will need an Epipen injection and then medical care in a hospital. We trust this won’t happen, but if it does, please handle it with the serious attention she will need. (of course, list your own medical plan here.)

Her serious reactions have been few, and she does know how to avoid the necessary foods. However, we really appreciate your help and vigilance. We know she will have a wonderful time at camp, and please contact with any questions or concerns at all. Here are our emergency numbers, please do not hesitate to use them.

Best,
Mom and Dad

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