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The end of school has a lot of parents looking at summer activities for the children. We will have the boys at a number of different camps. The question is what to do if they are going to be attending a sleepover camp? It is vital that the camp be checked out for references and that information is obtained concerning all of the staff who will be there.

-Protect them from abuse:

  • Avoid camps where you don't know the people there. It is important that you know who it is that your children are being left with. It is important that you know the age of those who will be around and that you know if there are any situations where your child will be alone. Finally, it would be helpful if other kids they know are also going to be at the camp.
  • Let your child know that they can complain. Children have to know that if they feel that there is a problem that they can say something about it. It means they can cry or scream. That they can ask for help. That you are available to hear them if something should happen.
  • Be direct with your child and let them know that they will not be touched or harmed in anyway. It is this type of honesty that will make sure your child knows that they are expected to be safe and that there are open lines of communication with you. You should not be embarrassed to make these statements in front of others so that they know that your child knows they have this protection.
  • Believe them. If you hear that there is a problem start by believing them. Make sure they feel safe to confide in you. There are far too many of these situations where children feel alone and unable to tell anyone.

Abuse of children and the continued silence by the offenders needs to be prevented. If you suffered, saw, or suspected such events, it is important to know that there is help out there.

-Protect them from germs from SpectraSan:

  • 1. Throughout the day, wash hands with antimicrobial antiseptic soap or with alcohol sanitizers if a sink is not available.
  • 2. Immediately before sports, wash hands and forearms to above the elbow using an antimicrobial wash or wipe that contains chlorhexidine gluconate (CHG). This protects the skin from bacteria for up to 6 hours during skin-to-skin contact sports.
  • 3. Clean sports equipment after use and ensure it dries completely after cleaning. Use a broad spectrum antimicrobial like SpectraSan 24™ on equipment that cannot be washed and on all hard, non porous surfaces in cabins and cafeteria, on sports equipment, and any other surface frequently touched by a host of children. Many germs and disease-causing infections can live on a hard surface for days, weeks, and even months. SpectraSan 24 is the only hard surface disinfectant that kills germs 20 times faster than traditional products, is non toxic (safe for use around children), and the only disinfectant that provides up to 24 hours of surface-to-skin protection.
  • 4. Shower as soon as possible after sports activity in hot water with an antimicrobial cleaner with 4% CHG, which kills germs (including Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus [MRSA], a type of “Superbug” staph infection that is resistant to many common antibiotics on contact and for up to six hours after washing). Regularly apply SpectraSan 24 to “high-touched surfaces” for added residual protection from cross contamination of MRSA and other disease causing pathogens.
  • 5. Keep wounds covered with clean, dry bandages. Have them checked by a doctor if they are red or won’t heal or if flu like symptoms develop (fever).
  • 6. Put dirty clothes and towels in a separate bag, not in backpacks or sports bags with clean clothing.
  • 7. Wash and dry clothes and towels on the hottest setting possible. Make sure all fabrics are completely dry before removing from the dryer.
  • 8. Do not share any personal hygiene items, towels or clothing with others.
  • 9. Know the signs and symptoms of common skin-to-skin contact illnesses including impetigo, ringworm and MRSA.
  • 10. Tell a coach or camp counselor about a rash, bite or painful sore immediately.

– Keep them healthy

Take into consideration other items:

  • Do they have special food needs?
  • Will there be issues with homesickness?
  • Do they know the importance of sunscreen?
  • Is there medical help available?
  • How often will they be able to talk to you?

Summer camps can do a lot to turn our young children into adults. They are times when they can try out early independence and find friends they will have for life. As long as safety is considered, it can be a great opportunity.

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