When school wraps up and summer begins, kids hang up their book bags and hit the outdoors. For many, that means day camp — swimming, sports and oodles of sunscreen. Keep them safe, well-fed and armed for adventure with these five day-bag essentials.
Sun damage during childhood can increase the risk of skin cancer later in life. Sunscreen remains one of the easiest ways to protect vulnerable skin. Available in lotions, sprays, powders and sticks, you’re sure to find a type of sunscreen your child will tolerate. Lotions and sticks are the best choice for younger children. When using spray sunscreen, be sure to apply in a well-ventilated area. Apply sunscreen before they leave for camp, and ensure that they or their camp leaders can reapply every two hours throughout the day. Look for at least a rating of SPF 30 that protects against UVA and UVB rays, and don’t forget to protect these six vulnerable places on the face and body.
2. A hat and sunglasses
A wide-brimmed hat — at least 3 inches around — is an important tool in your sun protection toolbox. Not only are kids’ hats adorable, they protect the vulnerable parts of the scalp, face and neck from sun damage. However, it’s still important to apply sunscreen and wear sunglasses to protect against UV reflection off water, sand and pavement.
While water fountains remain a safe and reliable option for hydration, a reusable water bottle is a great — and environmentally friendly — addition to a day camp pack. This is especially true for the long, hot days of summer when active kids are running, jumping, swimming and engaging in other camp traditions. Fresh and frozen fruit snacks are another great way to boost hydration during the day.
4. Healthy snacks
Busy kids are hungry kids! Help them reach their goal of five servings of fresh fruits and vegetables a day with these healthy snack ideas from a Sharp dietitian. These no-bake energy balls are a great midday pick-me-up. Young athletes may need even more energy to power them through the day. Simple, portable snacks that are high in protein can easily fit in a backpack.
5. Rescue medications
For children with asthma, food allergies or other chronic health conditions, it’s essential that camp staff understand their needs and have access to rescue medications. Most camps request this information in enrollment paperwork, and ask that medications be delivered to staff on the first day of camp. Be sure to talk with your child’s doctor before camp begins to renew prescriptions for inhalers, epinephrine injectors or other fast-acting medications.