Sleep-away summer camp represents an epic moment for both kids and parents – a time for kids to take a big step toward independence and a time for parents to begin letting go.
Amidst the frenzy of planning for this childhood milestone, Moms need to turn their attention to one important area to ensure that these best-laid plans don’t spiral into disaster: bugs! These little pests represent a natural part of summer camp but left unchecked, bugs – including mosquitoes, bees, ticks, horseflies, chiggers, ants, lice, and bedbugs – can render even the most outdoorsy kid into one who crosses summer camp off his list for good.
Here are Stacy’s mom-friendly tips to avoid the summertime swarm:
- Include STOP BUGGING ME!™ – a proven safe, green product that kills bedbugs on contact – in your child’s camp trunk and show them before they leave home how to spray their camp mattress when they arrive.
- Make sure kids bring an adequate supply of insect repellent to camp and know to use it each morning before activities and re-apply after swimming.
- Send kids to camp with an assortment of lightweight long-sleeve tops and pants so they can better protect against bug bites while hiking and backpacking, yet remain cool during the summer heat.
- Find out if counselors or the camp nurse regularly check kids for ticks and teach older kids how to check their own scalp and body for possible tick infestations.
- To lessen the likelihood of lice, encourage kids to adopt a shorter hairstyle before camp, or pull hair back with a ponytail or braid. Advise kids to never share hats, combs, brushes, swim caps, or helmets while at camp.
- Consider sending kids to camp with their own bike or riding helmet. Likewise, make sure they know to cover heads with a bandana or camp-provided disposable hair cover before using camp helmets.
- Consider sending kids with zippered mattress covers and bedding from home to further combat bedbugs.
- Keep camp trunks off the bed, where bedbugs lurk – instead encourage kids to place them on the floor or on surfaces provided.
Background on Stacy DeBroff
Stacy DeBroff is founder of Mom Central a best-selling author, and renowned parenting expert. In addition to launching her new celebrity parenting blog, The DeBroff DeBrief, Stacy also contributed as lead parenting expert on two films, the feature-length Her Best Move and the star-studded animated DVD Choose Your Own Adventure: The Abominable Snowman.
I'm a former 7th grade Science teacher turned stay-at-home mom that lives in Houston, Texas. I am married to my college sweetheart and have a beautiful daughter named Riley, who definitely keeps me on my toes! I am also involved in starting a small business which would both manufacture and sell an invention that I've patented, called Toothpaste 2 Go. I love interacting with my readers and hope to learn as much about you as you learn about me!