Parents want to make sure their kids have fun and stay safe at camp, but a main concern for many parents while their kids are away is how to help them stay as healthy as possible. Before you send your kids off to experience the summer of a lifetime, get them in the habit of these 5 things so they can enjoy everything camp has to offer and not spend their time in bed with a runny nose, grumbly tummy or annoying cough.
Camp Starlight knows that kids need to stay well nourished in order to have the energy it takes to swim, climb, dance and play all day long. Healthy choices are available, and getting your kids into the habit of picking something nutritious over something salty or sweet is a great way to boost their immune system and fight off germs. Healthy foods also give your kids the energy they need to be as active as possible, where fatty foods will make them feel sluggish and lazy and may lead to missing out on some great fun with other campers.
Encourage your kids to drink plenty of water throughout the day. Get them excited about it by having them pick out their own water bottle the next time you go to the store. Have a friendly competition within the family to see who can fill up and drink their water bottles the most throughout the day. At camp, kids who stay hydrated stay healthy!
Kids are going to be shaking hands and high fiving a lot at camp, and this is a very easy way for germs to spread. Get your kids in the habit of washing their hands after they use the bathroom, before they eat and after spending a lot of time outdoors.
There’s something always a little off when it comes to sleeping and kids. A teenager’s biological clock is set to stay up later and sleep in late (so it’s not totally their fault when you have to go in at noon and wake them up!) Sleep is vital in maintaining a healthy mind and body, and kids who get the recommended amount of sleep for their age group perform better than kids who don’t. Getting enough ZZZ’s also helps the immune system stay strong, and keeps their memory sharp. Kids who get enough sleep report lower stress levels than those who can’t get enough sleep, and lower stress is better for the brain and heart. A well-rested kid can focus on their creativity, concentration and athletic performance, and can fully enjoy everything camp has to offer
Before you send your child to camp, get them in the routine of applying sunscreen before they go outside. Help them understand the harmful effects of the sun’s rays, and assure them they can still get a tan while protecting their skin. Nobody likes to spend 3-4 days of camp walking around like a lobster, flinching every time someone brushes up against his or her fried skin. Over exposure to the sun during childhood has been linked with skin cancers in adulthood. Encourage your child to take the extra two minutes to apply sunscreen and remind them how great they’ll feel if they go home without being burnt!
A healthy camper is a happy camper, and by introducing these easy steps to your child before they get to camp, you’ll rest easy knowing they’re not only having the time of their life in a safe environment, but they are staying healthy as well.