36 LONGISLANDPRESS.COM • MARCH 2021
FAMILY & EDUCATION
SUMMER CAMP 2021 HEALTH TIPS
continued from page 35
Avoid masks with ventilation valves, as
this can increase the spread of disease.
The only way that a mask can protect
anyone is if it’s worn correctly. This
means masks should cover your mouth
and nose at all times and fit snugly.
Try not to touch your mask while wearing
it, and wash your hands if you do.
When you remove your mask, remove
it by the ear loops or tie — don’t touch
the front of the mask where the germs
are, or your face. Wash or sanitize
your hands after taking off your mask,
and make sure to launder your mask
The Centers for Disease Control recommends
that gloves be used only by
people caring for or cleaning up after
those who are sick.
It is not necessary — and may be more
dangerous — for your kids to use gloves
during summer fun, especially during
camp activities, including eating and
drinking. If your child is wearing
gloves and touches their face, it may
make things worse. Instead of gloves,
remind them to wash or sanitize their
hands frequently (with a product that
is at least 60 percent alcohol).
Make sure that their camp supplies include
a liberal supply of hand sanitizer.
You can make it fun by picking products
with fun scents and colors. Washing
your hands is one of the best ways to
prevent not only Covid-19, but a whole
host of other illnesses.
This is still the most important way to
keep yourself and your kids safe. Make
sure that your kids’ camps are taking
all reasonable precautions to limit large
gatherings and plan more outdoor fun.
When not at camp, continue to take
precautions. When opting for outdoor
dining venues, make sure the venue
has spread-out tables and the staff are
wearing masks. Be mindful of wearing
masks in stores, following arrows in
store aisles, and not crowding cash
registers. If you are venturing out to
beaches or parks, choose times that
are less busy and keep at least a 6-foot
distance from others.
According to the CDC, food allergies are
on the rise. Up to 8 percent of children
have at least one food allergy and these
can be serious. Symptoms of food allergies
can include hives, itching, rashes,
coughing, vomiting, lip swelling, and
difficulty breathing. In short, food allergies
can be life-threatening for some
If your child has a food allergy, make
sure the camp staff understands exactly
what triggers their symptoms, what
their symptoms are, and how to manage
an emergency. Equip your camper with
the medications recommended by your
doctor, including an EpiPen (an injectable
rescue medication for anaphylactic
shock), if necessary.
Remind your child to ask questions
when offered new foods or treats, and
be prepared to send special snacks
for your day camper if the camp can’t
accommodate special requests. If one of
your child’s co-campers has an allergy,
do your best to respect the rules and
don’t send food that could be dangerous.
Long Island is notorious for deer ticks
that carry Borrella burgdorferi, the
most common bacteria that cause Lyme
disease, an illness that can cause rash,
joint pain, headaches, fever and swollen
lymph nodes, among other symptoms.
Whenever possible make sure your
child wears a hat, long sleeves and long
pants in heavily wooded areas. Encourage
them to tuck their pants into their
socks to further minimize exposed
skin. Make sure your child is using
insect repellent, with 20 percent DEET
concentration, but avoid their hands,
mouth and eyes.
Dr. Rina Meyer is a board-certified pediatric
hematologist-oncologist in practice
at Stony Brook Children’s. She is an
assistant professor of clinical pediatrics
at Renaissance School of Medicine at
Stony Brook University. Her views are
her own and do not necessarily represent
the views of Stony Brook University
or Stony Brook Children’s Hospital.
This story first appeared in Dan’s
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