Magazine article USA TODAY

Take Precautions before Sending Kids to Camp

Magazine article USA TODAY

Take Precautions before Sending Kids to Camp

Article excerpt

Don't wait until the last minute to get children with allergies and asthma ready for summer camp, warns Ellen L. Garibaldi, assistant professor of internal medicine, St. Louis (Mo.) University School of Medicine. Youngsters with these conditions should have a checkup at least once a month prior to leaving for camp to make sure their medicine is controlling their symptoms effectively.

"By allowing time before camp, several medication changes can be tried to avoid problems that might bring the child home early from camp. Physicians can also check asthmatics to see that preventive medications are working to allow good air flow."

Garibaldi says parents can help ease their children's symptoms without interrupting summer camp. She offers the following tips for kids with allergies:

* Sleeping bags can breed mold. Always wash rather than dry clean them before outings because dry cleaning fumes can be harmful to children.

* Encase pillows in zippered, dust-proof covers.

* If your offspring will be sleeping on a cot at camp, send a mattress cover and sheets form home. This will help cut down on dust and mold exposure from the mattress. …

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