By Tracy Simons, Silver Cross Hospital
While high-tech camping gear and email have changed the camp experience, preparing kids for camp and summer programs still requires some basic provisions.
“Camps are an important way to keep your kids physically active and fit while stimulating interest in new activities,” says Dr. Thomas Lee, family practice physician with Primary Care Professionals in New Lenox. “Many camps require a physical, particularly if it is a sports camp.”
This doctor's visit is a great time to ensure your child is up-to-date with vaccines and prescriptions. Remember, schools often require physicals too, and most insurance policies only cover one annual exam per child.
Therefore, Dr. Lee, his partner Priya Shastri, M.D., and Anandavally Pillai, M.D. with Primary Care Physicians of Essington, will offer discounted camp, school and sports physicals for students age 6 years and older through Sept. 30, 2014. Cost is $45 includes and includes a physical examination and completion of required forms. Immunizations and labs, if required, are an additional fee. Cash, check, or credit/debit card accepted at time of appointment—insurance will not be billed.
Call 815-300-1450 to schedule an appointment with Dr. Lee or Dr. Shastri. To see Dr. Pillai on the west side of Joliet, call 815-744-4440.
In addition to filling out forms, parents should make sure the camp is prepared to handle medical emergencies.
“Ask if there is a nurse or doctor on site at all times, and where campers are sent for medical care if something more serious happens,” Dr. Lee said.
Talk with camp administrators about any concerns you may have including food allergies. Ask how the camp accommodates special diets. Determine how the kitchen avoids cross-contamination of allergy-provoking foods and inquire about action plans if a camper has an allergic reaction.
Being confident about the camp your child attends will ease the anxiety and help prepare you both. Dr. Lee recommends parents start discussing their child’s upcoming camp activities and making new friends now. These conversations will help children mentally prepare for camp and feel more confident.
However, no matter how ready children are for camp, most will miss home at some point. First-time campers psychologically benefit from short-term sessions close to home. Once a camper stays longer, consider packing pre-addressed and stamped postcards to encourage writing home.
“Throughout your child’s experience, remember some level of homesickness is natural and healthy,” Dr. Lee said. “Becoming independent and managing emotions are core benefits of camp.”
Dr. Lee suggests parents pack a few other supplies to make sure their children have a safe and healthy experience.
- Sunscreen. Grab an easy-to-apply sunscreen your child is willing to wear on her own. SPF 30 works for the majority of kids if they reapply throughout the day. As a general rule, use one ounce of sunscreen (about a palm full) per application. Pre-portioned sunscreen towelettes are easy to apply and ensure kids are covered. You may also want to ask if children need a doctor’s note to apply sunscreen.
- Sunglasses that filter out UVA/UVB rays
- A wide-brimmed hat
- SPF-rated swimwear and safety equipment
- Clothing that can be layered
- A variety of shoes—Pack everything from hiking boots to water shoes, depending on the activities your child will participate in.
- Flashlight and extra batteries
- Toiletries including a toothbrush, toothpaste, deodorant, soap, shampoo, and other necessities for proper hygiene should be packed together in a waterproof bag.
- Mosquito repellant and salve for bites and stings
About Silver Cross Hospital
Silver Cross Hospital is a not-for-profit health care provider serving Will County and southwest suburban communities since 1895. Silver Cross has been recognized as a Thomson Reuters 100 Top Hospitals National Award winner for seven consecutive years and as a Hospital of Choice by the American Alliance of Healthcare Providers.
With over 3,000 employees, physicians and volunteers, Silver Cross operates a 289-bed acute care hospital and 5 satellite facilities providing outpatient services and physician offices. Silver Cross opened a state-of-the-art replacement hospital on February 26, 2012 at I-355 and Route 6 in New Lenox. In 2013, Silver Cross provided over $48 million in charity care and other community benefits.
To learn more about Silver Cross Hospital or a referral to a physician on staff, visit www.silvercross.org or call 1-888-660-HEAL (4325). Physicians on Silver Cross Hospital’s Medical Staff have expertise in their areas of practice to meet the needs of patients seeking their care. These physicians are independent practitioners on the Medical Staff and are not the agents or employees of Silver Cross Hospital. They treat patients based upon their independent medical judgment and they bill patients separately for their services.