For many children, summer camp is what they’ve looked forward to all school year. Whether it’s day camp, overnight camp or speciality camp for sports, arts or sciences, summer camp gives kids the opportunity to make new friends, discover new ideas, develop new skills. Camp is a refreshing and revitalizing experience for children!
For many parents, camp and COVID-19 are a scary mix. While most children don’t contract serious cases of the virus, spreading the virus to vulnerable family and community members may be a significant concern.
New Canaan Pediatrics is here to explain what to ask camp administrations to feel confident about sending your child to camp.
Ask your camp administrator:
Are there staggered drop off and pick up times?
Avoiding large crowds at one entrance or exit at one time will prevent infection.
Do kids stay in small “pods”?
Keeping kids in their own groups throughout the day and eliminating interaction with other groups of children will help prevent virus spread. For overnight camps, the same children who interact with each other during the day should also stay in cabins or rooms together to prevent introducing other children to the group.
What are space requirements?
Children should be required to stay 3 to 6 feet apart as much as possible to prevent the respiratory spread during laughing, talking, singing, coughing and sneezing. For overnight camps and nap times, children should be placed head to toe, with cots or mats 6 feet apart.
What are mask requirements?
Masks should be worn all times, except while sleeping, eating, drinking and during water play or in a situation where catching the mask on equipment is a clear and present danger.
Are most activities outdoors?
Keeping children outdoors as much as possible provides plenty of room between campers and excellent fresh air ventilation.
How are meals and snacks handled?
For day camps, having children bring their own food and drink is the safest option. For overnighters, pre-packaged and individually wrapped foods are a better choice than buffet serving.
Is the pool safe?
In general, public pools can be a real cesspool of bacteria, so ask how frequently the water is tested and treated. Children should stay 6 feet away from each other in the pool, and masks should not be worn in water.
What happens if someone becomes infected with COVID-19?
Daily health checks should be mandatory, along with weekly screenings for all unvaccinated staff members. Get a clear picture of your child’s camp’s frequency of testing, reasons testing may be conducted outside of that frequency and what will happen if a child or staff member tests positive. Do all participants and staff then get tested? Is the individual pod quarantined? What resources are in place to care for an overnight camper who gets sick?
Getting very clear and direct answers to these questions will help you make the right decision about summer camp for your family. If you are looking for a camp in the neighborhood, click here to discover what’s available in the New Canaan and Darien area.
Still confused about summer camp? We understand that it’s a very big decision! Please call our office at 203-972-4250. We can help you decide what’s best for your child this summer.