Allergies at Camp — What's a Camp Director to Do?

March 2017

According to a study released in 2013 by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, food allergies among children increased approximately 50 percent between 1997 and 20111. And, many of these children attend camp. Are you ready?

It is important for all camps to evaluate their ability to serve campers with allergies – no matter if the allergies are considered mild or severe. As with most things related to camp, partnering with the parents is critical in order to have a clear understanding of the full scope of the allergies and implications. In an historic judgment in 2012, the U.S. Department of Justice ruled that food allergies may constitute a disability under the Americans with Disabilities Act.

The American Camp Association has gathered together and maintains a list resources to help you understand the laws and plan a safe and healthy camp food service program

In a companion piece, ACA monitors and shares information regarding the accessibility of epinephrine auto-injectors at camp.

1Jackson K. et al. Trends in Allergic Conditions among Children: United States, 1997- 2011. National Center for Health Statistics Data Brief. 2013. Retrieved from http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/products/databriefs/db121.htm