American Camp Association Supports Healthy Camp Experiences

American Academy of Pediatrics Announces Revised Policy Statement on March 28, 2011
Indianapolis, IN (March 30, 2011) — For nearly 100 years, the American Camp Association® (ACA) has been at the forefront of creating positive, safe, healthy camp exeriences. In this vein, ACA supports the American Academy of Pediatrics’ (AAP) revised policy statement, “Creating Healthy Camp Experiences,” released Monday in the April issue of Pediatrics. ACA worked closely with AAP to create the policy statement, which provides guidelines to help care for campers in all situations, including children with medical or psychological issues.
 
“ACA and AAP share a common goal to provide healthy and safe camp experiences for all children,” said Peg Smith, ACA chief executive officer. “ACA standards and best practices have been developed over decades of work and observation in the field, and we were happy to share that knowledge with AAP to ensure every child has a safe and healthy camp experience.”
 
Included in the policy statement are tips and information such as:
  • Before choosing a camp, parents should evaluate their child’s interests, skills, and overall well-being to make sure the child can effectively participate in a particular camp environment.
  • Parents should also medically and psychologically prepare their child for camp, and work with their pediatrician, camp health providers, and administrators on a pre-camp health evaluation.
  • Camp administrators should follow specific health policies and procedures addressing both major and minor injuries and illnesses, and train staff in proper storage and administration of medications.
  • Camps that have an automated external defibrillator (AED) or other emergency medical devices such as epi-pens or inhalers should keep them in easily accessible locations and ensure that medical staff are properly trained in their use.
  • Because of the recent H1N1 influenza pandemic and cases of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), the revised statement also includes a recommendation that camps should have an emergency management plan for infectious outbreaks and encourage good hygiene/hand-washing practices among campers.
 
For more information and expert advice on topics such as choosing a camp, health and safety at camp, homesickness, and camp planning, visit ACA’s famly resource site at www.CampParents.org. Families can also sign up to receive ACA’s family resource newsletter, Camp e-News, to receive information, helpful links, and resources. Families can also find ACA on Facebook, or follow ACA on Twitter.
 
About ACA
The American Camp Association® (ACA) works to preserve, promote, and enhance the camp experience for children and adults. ACA-Accredited® camp programs ensure that children are provided with a diversity of educational and developmentally challenging learning opportunities. There are over 2,400 ACA-accredited camps that meet up to 300 health and safety standards. For more information, visit www.ACAcamps.org.
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