Summer Camp – with Allergies
Excellent camps that can accommodate kids with allergies and asthma.
Summer camp is a coming-of-age ritual. But signing a child up for a week in the woods is something many parents of kids with allergies and asthma might never consider. Well, Mom and Dad, take heart. The following are a few of a growing number of excellent camps that recognize the detailed precautions needed to manage allergies, asthma and celiac.
You will find the list in this order:
1. Canada – Food Allergy, Celiac
2. Canada – Asthma
3. U.S. – Food Allergy, Celiac
4. U.S. – Asthma
Canada – Food Allergy, Celiac Camps
AAIA Food Allergy Camp / YWCA YoWoChAs Centre Summer Camp
Location: near Edmonton, AB
Campers: co-ed, ages 6-16
Dates: July 26 – 30, 2010
Description: Children with food allergies are welcome all summer, but one week is dedicated to them specifically. A registered dietitian and the camp’s head chef work to create menus that address numerous food allergies, and a nurse, paramedic, or other medical professional is on-site for the duration of the camp. A pediatric allergist from Edmonton is on-call. All staff are trained in first aid, CPR and the administration of epinephrine. Older campers carry their own auto-injectors and puffers, while ever-present counsellors carry them for younger kids. Camp is located on Lake Wabamun, 80km west of Edmonton. This camp strives to be peanut/nut-free year round.
B’nai Brith Camp
Location: Lake of the Woods (Kenora), ON (2 ½ hours east of Winnipeg)
Campers: co-ed, ages 8-16
Description: At BB Camp, no products containing fish, peanuts or nuts, including any bulk food items, are permitted to be used on site. The camp cook and his team do not use any ingredients in food preparation that contain fish, nuts or peanuts. Menus are planned to accommodate several food allergies and celiac disease, and are kosher-style. All food allergies are posted in the kitchen confidential binder for the cook each week. Depending on the severity of the allergy or asthma, children either carry their own auto-injectors and inhalers, or they’re kept at the Health Centre, where there are two registered nurses or medics available 24 hours a day. Counsellors of allergic campers are given extra instruction in allergen prevention and in recognizing the signs of anaphylaxis.
Location: Longford Mills, ON
Campers: co-ed, ages 6-16
Description: A wellness director is responsible for meeting the needs of kids with dietary restrictions. When necessary, food is segregated and prepared by a designated person in the kitchen. Registered nurses and respiratory therapists are on staff, and all counsellors are trained on the use of inhalers and EpiPens. It’s up to the parents, respiratory therapist and camper to decide whether medication will be carried by the camper or kept at the health centre.
Location: Parry Sound, ON
Campers: co-ed, ages 7-16
Description: The camp is nut safe. Menus are planned to accommodate several food allergies and celiac disease. Children with severe allergies can bring their own food. All staff are trained in first aid and in the use of epinephrine auto-injectors. 7 EpiPen stations are located at key areas around the camp. In addition, campers may carry their own auto-injectors per their parent’s instructions. A doctor (pediatrician or family physician who specializes in dealing with children) and 2-3 nurses/health care assistants are on-site for the duration of the camp.
Location: Orillia, ON
Campers: co-ed, ages 6-15
Description: Campers will allergies get alternative meals, and one person in the kitchen is designated to prepare them. For some dietary restrictions, such as celiac disease, parents need to provide the food. One doctor and three nurses are on staff all summer, and children carry their own auto-injectors and inhalers. The camp strives to be peanut- and nut-free.
Proximity to Emergency Department:
Soldiers Memorial Hospital is 12 minutes away.