GOLDEN VALLEY, Minn.-Each summer about 10-million kids head off to camp, according to the American Camp Association. However, before you pack your child's suitcase, you might need to do a health check.
Nurse Practitioner Mara Glantz of MinuteClinic stopped by the KARE 11 studio to explain what exams a health professional needs to do to ensure your child's health.
Glantz says to get ready for camp the most important thing to do is obtain a camp physical for your child. This is something most camps require and even if they don't, it's a good idea to make sure your child is able to safely participate in camp and sports activities. This can be done through your pediatrician, nurse practitioner or at a location like MinuteClinic, where camp physicals are offered 7 days a week, no appointment needed.
What does Camp physical exam include?
• Height and weight measurement
• Review of the child's health history
• Review of all immunizations to ensure that they are up-to-date
• Simple physical exam to determine if the patient is able to safely participate in typical camp activities
• Educational tips on how to stay healthy and safe at camp
Are camp physicals covered by insurance?
They are not likely to be covered by insurance. Nearly all providers follow this same billing and payment protocol as it follows national standard billing and coding guidelines.
What else can parents do to ensure that their children have a safe and healthy camp experience?
• Make sure the camp has a trained medical professional on site
• Determine that the camp is equipped to handle any special health concerns that affect your child and discover how they handle issuing prescriptions.
• Check to see that the camp counselors are equipped to handle emergencies such as bee stings. For example, do they carry a first aid kit and do they have an EpiPen for allergic reactions. If your child has allergies, should he/she bring an EpiPen?
The following are items you might want to pack in your child's duffle bag-
• Sun tan lotion (spray, lotion, spray mist proper SPF, etc - many options depends what's best for your child in terms of ease of application and keeping lotion on)
• Bug Spray (spray, wipes, Deet, non-Deet)
• Bug Bite/anti-itch (spray, rub on pen)
• Best Band-aids for blisters (varieties; w/antibiotic ointment)
• Water bottle (importance of hydrating)
• Hand sanitizer (importance)