Clinicians who are treating young patients headed to summer camp should provide a complete annual review of the youth’s health to be delivered to the camp, according to a policy statement from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) Council on School Health. This will help determine whether the camp’s program is appropriate for that child.

The AAP has put forth this and several other recommendations intended for primary-care providers, parents, and camp administration and health-center staff to guide health and safety practices for the young attendees (Pediatrics. 2011;127:794-799).

Other recommendations include:

  • Be sure the camper is up to date on all immunizations before departure.
  • Remind parents to tell the appropriate camp representatives about any changes in the child’s health status, new medications, or changes in maintenance medications.
  • Discuss with parents strategies to manage a camper’s homesickness that won’t undermine the child’s self-confidence in his or her independence.
  • Camp health personnel should have protocols in place for such common illnesses and conditions as fever, conjunctivitis, respiratory infections, asthma, otitis externa and media, sore throat, skin infections, and vomiting and diarrhea.