Mar 28, 2011 6:38 PM
March 28, 2011 -- Parents should consider their children's skills, interests, and overall physical and mental health before selecting a summer camp, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) says in a revised policy statement.
The new statement also suggests steps parents can take to reduce homesickness. Those include:
The AAP recommends that parents avoid making pre-arranged pick-up plans in the event of homesickness, which could cause children to wonder about their readiness for independence.
Also, before choosing a camp, parents should "medically and psychosocially prepare their child" and work with their pediatrician, camp health providers, and administrators on a pre-camp health evaluation.
The revised statement was written by Edward A. Walton, MD, director of Pediatric Emergency Medicine at Beaumont Hospital in Royal Oak, Mich.
Walton, also national spokesman for the National Camp Association, urges camp administrators to follow specific health policies and have procedures in place to handle major and minor health problems.
The AAP recommends that all camps make an evaluation as to the need for an automated external defibrillator (AED) at the camp location.
The new guidelines also say that camps: