1 in 10 parents say camouflage from COVID and vaccination are necessary for summer camp decision-making. Credit: University of Michigan Health National Mott Children’s Hospital Survey on Children’s Health

When it comes to choosing a summer camp for children, logistics tops the checklist for most parents, according to a new nationwide poll.

In the meantime, families believe health and security informationfor example, camp supervision and first aid training, less than half of parents assess the general safety policy as important for the decision on the camp, according to the National Survey of Children’s Hospital named after KS Mott at the University of Michigan Health.

Only half of the parents also feel very confident that they can tell if a summer camp is safe and healthy for their baby.

“Parents often trust camp staff to supervise their children for long days, even overnight, in the summer,” said Mott Poll co-director Sarah Clark, MPH. “The camps provide great opportunities for enrichment, summer activities and friendship.

“But parents can’t always think about whether the camps they choose are ready to meet all the needs of tourists and respond to health and safety emergencies.”

The representative report for the country is based on the responses of 1,020 parents who have at least one child aged 6 to 12 who were interviewed in April.

Nearly half of parents say they are considering an overnight stay or day camp for their child, more than half expect their child’s participation to last a few weeks.

Logistics such as location, hours of operation, and cost were high on the parents ’list of opinions, and for about two out of five parents, job offers were an important factor. Just under a third of parents also said it was important to keep restrictions on electronics and social networksand about one in six wanted to make sure their children were outdoors.

Camper safety

In terms of safety, nearly three in four parents say they are looking for information on staff-child ratios, while more than three in five are interested in first-aid training among staff and camp inspections or safety ratings. More than half are interested in emergency preparedness plans.

Most parents believe that if a camp is accredited, it has been inspected for the past one or two years, and staff have been instructed in safety.

When families leave in the third summer of the pandemic era – and the first when children under the age of 12 are eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine – few say precautions against COVID are important for camp decision-making. But among those who do, three-quarters prefer the demands of masks and vaccines, and a quarter prefer camps without any of these mandates.

“Mandatory vaccination and camouflage can minimize camp disruptions due to the COVID outbreak, as well as limit the risk of passing COVID tourists to others family membersSaid Clark.

One in 12 parents says the summer camp will need to take into account the specific health problems of their child, including allergies, the need for medication, physical disabilityor mental health problems.

“Parents should talk to the camp director so that the camp can meet their child health needs“Parents cannot assume that information related to their child’s health has been passed on to all relevant groups.”

What Clark asks parents to think about before sending a child to camp:

  • If vacationers will be in a remote area, such as a lake or forest, ask about the camp’s policy on adverse weather conditions and whether there is a safe haven near the camp.
  • If the camps involve sports or other physical activity, make sure staff have basic first aid training and materials available. If there is swimming in the camp, ask if a certified lifeguard will be present.
  • If your child has a health problem, meet with staff who will supervise the child to answer any questions and make sure they have parental contact information available for emergency care. Don’t think the information has already been passed on.
  • If a child has a food or other allergy, parents should make sure that immediate care (such as Epi-pen) is available and staff are trained to use it.
  • When parents are considering an overnight stay, they should assess the child’s willingness to be away. If the child seems concerned, parents can arrange their conversation with a previous vacationer or family friend who can share their experiences.
  • Be familiar with campPolicies regarding camouflage and vaccination against COVID-19, and whether there are recommendations for quarantine in the event of an outbreak or infection.

How summer camps can protect your children from allergies, asthma and COVID

Additional information:
mottpoll.org/reports/consideri… ok-health-and-safety

Citation: National survey: safety is not always paramount for parents who choose children’s summer camps (2022, May 23) obtained on May 23, 2022 from https://medicalxpress.com/news/2022-05-national-poll-safety -mind- parents.html

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