by We Can Do This COVID-19 Public Education Campaign
(NAPSI)—Many parents are considering how to keep their children active and screen-free during the summer months, and camps can be a great option for modeling healthy lifestyles, making new friends, and learning independence. While many children have missed out on attending camps the last several years because of COVID, there are ways to ensure your child can return to camp safely and learn new life skills.
“Summer camps provide opportunities to socialize, get active, and build confidence for kids who may have missed out on a lot during these past couple of years,” said Dr. Jaime Fergie, director of infectious diseases at Driscoll Children’s Hospital and medical director at the Global Institute for Hispanic Health, Texas. “Getting your child vaccinated for COVID is one of the best ways to ensure their safety while away from home this summer.”
Parents can use this checklist to prepare their children for summer camp:
Get your child vaccinated. The best thing you can do to protect your children from COVID and help ensure they have a memorable experience this summer is to make sure each child is up to date with COVID vaccines in time for camp. COVID vaccines and boosters are currently available for everyone ages 5 and older.
Remind your child about general safety measures. Make sure your child knows about good handwashing techniques and pack plenty of hand sanitizer containing at least 60% alcohol. Regardless of the COVID case levels in their camp area, pack plenty of masks too. You’ll want to send your children with the most protective, best-fitting mask that they will wear consistently.
Reduce the risk of spreading COVID-19. Get your child tested as close to the start of camp as possible. If your child tests positive for COVID, follow CDC’s quarantine and isolation guidance and let camp staff know whether your child tests positive or negative.
Keep your children home if they are exposed to COVID or show symptoms consistent with COVID. If your child has been in close contact with someone who has COVID, keep that child home from camp for five days, get them tested, and take precautions (such as wearing a mask around others) until day 10. If your children have any of the following symptoms, you should keep them home, get them tested, and notify camp staff: fever or chills, cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, fatigue, muscle or body aches, headache, new loss of taste or smell, sore throat, congestion or runny nose, nausea or vomiting, or diarrhea.
Take extra precautions if your child is at high risk for severe illness from COVID-19. Children with certain health issues—such as asthma, diabetes, obesity, and sickle cell disease—have a greater chance of getting very sick from COVID. Talk with your children’s healthcare provider to determine whether it’s safe for them to attend camp or if they need to take extra precautions while at camp, such as wearing a more protective mask. Be sure to inform camp staff of any extra measures your child needs before the camp session starts.
For further information on how COVID vaccines can make this the best summer yet for your child, visit www.vaccines.gov.