Summer camp should be a place where kids have fun, make new friends and learn new things — not get sick.
All owners, staff, parents and children are concerned about the spread of any kind of illness that could ruin a summer camp experience.
The national incidence of flu is typically at a low level during the summer but sporadic outbreaks are anticipated.
Being prepared with a good plan is the best prevention. To help formulate a plan, the CDC has released guidelines and tips to assist us all.
Flu Prevention Tips for Camp
- Get campers and staff vaccinated
- Cover coughs, sneezes and wash your hands frequently
- Stay away from others if you are ill for 24 hours after a fever
- Keep surfaces and objects that are touched clean and disinfected
- Know who to call and keep line of communication open if illness breaks out in your camp
- Know how you will separate ill campers and when to get medical care
- Train all staff in caring for sick campers and communicable diseases
- Educate your campers and parents about health risks and prevention
- Know which campers are at increased health risk (asthma, heart disease, blood disorders, neurological diseases/impairments, endocrine disorders like diabetes, kidney disease, weakened immune systems, liver disease, obesity, aspirin therapy
- Keep parent contact information up to date and accessible
- Do not give aspirin or aspirin containing products to children under 18 years old to prevent Reyes syndrome
- Food service should have supplies needed such as clear liquids, water, ice etc needed for treatment of flu related GI symptoms
- Cafeteria style food service preferred over buffet or family service during illness outbreak
- Keep sick workers away from campers, encourage them to stay home
For more information to keep your camp healthy, contact your local health agency or CDC.
Then let the fun begin!