Ask the Nurse: How do I know if my child is ready for sleepaway summer camp?

CINCINNATI - Nurses provide the TLC we need to feel better and stay well. In our "Ask the Nurse" feature, WCPO contributor Gretchen MacKnight consults a Tri-State RN for the expert and common sense answers to some of the questions we have about our health. 

This is the season for sleepover summer camp. And no matter what your child’s interest, there’s probably a camp for that: swimming, horseback riding, fishing, science and math, sports, cheerleading, music, drama, you name it. Sounds like great fun, but is your child ready for a week away from home?

Q&A with Nurse Jinda Bowerman, UC Health

1. How do you know if your child is ready for a sleepover summer camp?

Every child is different, so I always defer to the parents’ opinion on this.

Look for a few developmental markers that convey signs of independence: the ability to follow directions; the ability to dress oneself; the ability to communicate. These skills are necessary for a child to enjoy most camps.

Also, does your child want to go to camp? Does he or she want to engage in specialty activities? Even children who may not possess the developmental milestones listed above might be eligible for certain overnight camps if the camp offers the appropriate support systems.

A parent’s enthusiasm over the camp experience can also deeply influence how a child responds to camp.Our children absorb so much information from how we approach a situation.

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