Summer Camp for a Kid with Food Allergies? Absolutely!

Safe summer camp funI know what you are thinking right now – me, send my allergic child away, to a camp? Are you out of your mind? How, where and what do you think I could do to stay sane while my child is away? I have some answers and (hopefully) you will find them helpful.

First, I would like to say that I understand the complexity of the entire scenario of sending your allergic child to a camp. I understand that it requires a lot of extra work and effort but what is it that is delaying the possibility- is it your fear of the unknown? If the answer is yes, that is ok and absolutely normal. With a few simple precautions, you could take the next step to having your child do what every other child without food allergies does.

The easiest way to start is something that Dr. Michael Pistiner of AllergyHome shared at the US Anaphylaxis Summit in Washington D.C.: A.C.T. – Avoid, Communicate, Teach”. Be able to explain which foods must be avoided to ensure a safe environment for your child at camp as well as the others who may have food allergies. Communicate openly with the camp staff on all levels so that they feel comfortable working with you as much as possible. Teach them because many times, people are embarrassed to tell you that they are unsure of how food allergies should be handled. The more you make yourself approachable and willing to share your information, the easier it will be to begin to open up those doors for your child to enjoy that summertime rite of passage.

Searching for a camp that will be able to accommodate your child’s needs may be a bit tricky but I’m happy to say that there are more and more allergy-friendly camps that are becoming available to parents. These camps also include dairy free, asthma and children who have skin conditions that are excited to spend summertime with others in a fun environment. Not sure where to start the search? There’s a sample of just a few of these camps right here:

Allergy-Friendly Summer Camps

Asthma Camps

Dairy Free

Skin Conditions

Now, one of the most important parts of what you need to remember may seem just a teeny bit selfish at first but just let the thought sink in for a bit. This will also be your time to relearn how to be your own person outside of being a food allergic parent. Let’s face it, when was the last time you did something that was for yourself? You – not the nut allergic child’s mom, not the protective parent and not the unconditional caretaker but you as your own person. I am not saying you have to go wild but I am reminding you that finding yourself and allowing you to find yourself is a very healthy and necessary thing to do. Even if you allow yourself ten minutes a day, you will find that it helps you to de-stress just a bit, can refocus you and it can even give you just enough space for you to sit back and watch your child impress you on how educated they are about their food allergies because of you.

We all choose how we want to handle our situations. The unknown can be extremely scary but small steps can lead to bigger steps, bigger steps to leaps and bounds. Be cautious (be VERY cautious) but also be willing to show your child that new things can be achieved. Show them that they are important enough for you to try. Show them that life is not built around fear but of the strength of what they can achieve, bumps in the road and all. Show them that food allergies are a part of them, not the end of them.

About the Author

Tracy Bush is the founder and President of Nutrimom, Inc., also known as Nutrimom - Food Allergy Liason, a consulting business that specializes in providing guidance and support for anyone that has been diagnosed with food allergies. Tracy helps others with simple steps, such as finding safe, wholesome foods to supplement allergenic foods, where to shop and how to maximize their budget while adjusting to their dietary change. You can view additional information about what she does as well as her new e-book "The Stepping Stones to Food Allergies" at Tracy is a member of the PedSafe Expert team


25 Responses to “Summer Camp for a Kid with Food Allergies? Absolutely!”

  1. Let your kid learn and have fun this summer by enrolling them into summer camps.

  2. Let your kid learn and have fun this summer by enrolling them into summer camps. Let yours kids skills develop more by letting them join summer camps that will teach them more.

  3. Leah Hatfield says:

    Let us not allow our children to stop growing just because she has allergy. My Allergy Easy

  4. The building blocks of self-esteem are belonging, learning, and contributing. Camps offer unique opportunities for children to succeed in these three vital areas and even beyond home and school.

  5. Liz Armeson says:

    I am glad to see things like this! I know allergies and other health issues can make it seem kind of intimidating to send you children off to camp. But it’s an important part of growing up and kids with food allergies deserve it just as much as kids without. I can definitely appreciate some of these camps and services that cater to kids who have these allergies. Thanks so much for writing!

    • Stefanie Zucker Stefanie Zucker says:

      Thanks…we think so too! It’s one of the reasons we love having Nutrimom as one of our Experts. She reminds us how important it is for our food allergic kids to participate in the same experiences that mold and shape the lives of our non-food allergic kids. Thanks so much for stopping by! We LOVE hearing what our readers have to say! 🙂

  6. Each summer at camp a unique setting is created, a community is constructed that allows participants to get in touch with a sense of life that is larger than one’s self. The camp community seeks to satisfy children’s basic need for connectedness, affiliation, belonging, acceptance, safety, and feelings of acceptance and appreciation.

  7. Build their personality in a good way by letting your kids be in sports camps that can enhance their skills.

  8. Summer camp activities helps your kid to be more cooperative and organized with fellow kids to be more productive.Kids talents need nurturing, and you can so by letting them join summer camps.

  9. Build your campfire a safe distance away from your tent and other flammable materials, and make sure when it’s out, it’s really out. The fire may look extinguished on the surface, but the core might still be smouldering.

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