CLEVELAND – Many summer camps are in full swing after having to abruptly close last year due to the pandemic. While it’s exciting news for campers, some parents may still be nervous about COVID-19.
“I would really look at the safety guidelines on a camp-to-camp basis and trust your gut. If you feel like the camp is able to do a good job and you feel comfortable sending them, it’s time to try to start doing those things again. If you don’t feel good about it, maybe it’s not the right time to do it,” said Gina Robinson, MD, pediatrician for Cleveland Clinic Children’s.
Dr. Robinson said if you are planning to send your child to camp this summer, make sure you talk to them about following safety protocol. The rules they’re used to may be different now.
The CDC has established guidelines for camps, including recommending vaccinations for staff and all kids over the age of 12 years old. Anyone who is not vaccinated should still be wearing a mask. Social distancing is also encouraged.
Dr. Robinson said if your child has a chronic medical condition or is immunocompromised, you may want to keep them home this year. And if your child isn’t vaccinated yet, now would be a good time to do it.
“I would encourage everyone to think about the fact that we want to try to get back to normal, number one, and the best way to do that is to get as many people as possible vaccinated. We also want to reduce the number of people who are getting sick and dying potentially with COVID unnecessarily,” she said.
Dr. Robinson said it could also be helpful to limit your child’s interactions for a two week period prior to going to camp, that way you can make sure they haven’t contracted COVID or another illness that could put other kids at risk.