Safety Watch: Kids, Camp and COVID
Summer has arrived and finally, after a year spent in the house, kids are heading out to camp again. On the whole, that’s great news. Being cooped up indoors has no doubt been difficult for many of our little unhappy campers (not to mention us parents!). Of course, before anyone sets out, let’s talk about kids, camp and COVID.
Camp and COVID Worries
Now, there are many reasons to consider COVID-19 when it comes to planning for a summer of camp or daycare. First and foremost, COVID is still a threat. That means certain precautions should be taken.
After all, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics, over 3.94 million children have tested positive for COVID-19 since the start of the pandemic. Fortunately, severe illness and repercussions seem relatively rare among children. Still, that’s no excuse to slack on safety.
To this end, let’s see what the updated guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have to say. According to the CDC, here are some of the guidelines that summer camps should follow:
- Strongly promote the idea that eligible campers and staff should be vaccinated before attending.
- Require face coverings be worn, as directed.
- Health screens should be performed daily.
- Limit shared objects and food.
- Disinfect common areas often.
- Keep children separated into smaller groups.
- Follow social distancing protocols.
- Ask overnight campers to quarantine, wear masks and avoid unnecessary travel two weeks prior to attending.
With these precautions in mind, many organizations have posted their safety plans on their websites. To fully understand a camp’s plan, parents should ask relevant questions. This should help to alleviate concerns and cut down on risk.
The Great Outdoors
Now that we’ve addressed the “Camp and COVID” elephant in the room, let’s talk about some great benefits of camp! Above all, camping is a great way to get kids face-to-face with their peers. Depending on how the past year has been for them, many children haven’t had much of an opportunity to socialize.
Socializing is crucial for development. On this blog, we’ve written about the value of scouting before in terms of a child’s development. All of that information also applies to summer camps. Camping provides an opportunity to sing songs, exercise and much more.
It’s even a great way to get in the pool again. Fortunately, according to the CDC, it is safe to swim during the pandemic. As long as social distancing rules are observed, any signs of the virus are likely to be killed by your pool’s cleaning agents, like chlorine. You can learn more about swimming and pool games in this post.
Taking Care at Camp
Of course, beyond camp and COVID fears, there is still plenty of other general danger at camps. Parents, guardians and camp staff should make sure to keep a close eye on happy campers. Here are two very important guidelines that can make for a safe and fun camping experience:
Heatstroke and dehydration can be extremely dangerous during the hot summer days. To prevent this, children (and adults!) should take frequent water breaks. Keeping hydrated can save a life.
Beyond drinking water, kids should never be left unattended. That goes double when they are near the water. A few moments of distraction can be fatal. Guardians should keep a close attentive eye on children at all times.