A Healthy Camper is a Happy Camper!

            Hello from Orenda! My name is Toots McCoy Hake. I am a former camper, mother of a camper. This summer I am lucky enough to be the nurse in Orenda for 1B. Between my last two weeks as the camp nurse, and my 10 years as a camp mom; I have learned a few things that can help the medical staff ensure your child stays happy and healthy at camp.

            One of the reasons I chose to be the camp nurse was because my daughter seems to always end up on a first name basis with the Orenda staff. Since she wanted me to be at camp with her, and she is one of the Orenda “frequent flyers,” I decided to sign on as nurse for a couple of weeks. She has also ended up at the urgent care and broken her arm while at camp. So I know all about having to rely on the Orenda and Heart staff! I am very thankful I had all the forms submitted so there wasn’t a delay when she broke her arm!

   The two most common things Orenda has seen so far this Summer are related to not enough water and allergies.

Many girls come in with complaints of stomachache, nausea, dizziness, and headache. These symptoms most often occur because they haven’t been drinking enough water. We have them sit and drink a bottle of water with electrolytes added, and most of them bounce back and are ready to resume the fun.

           We also had a large number of girls with allergies and the common cold, that for some turned into a sinus infection. Because we have been inside and wearing masks for the better part of the last year and a half, our immune systems are not used to being exposed to allergens and the common cold like they used to. Pair this with increased interaction with other kids, not wearing masks as much, and not enough water and you have the perfect set up for not feeling well.

            As their parent, there are some things you can do to help decrease the likelihood they end up on a first name basis with the camp nurse. We would much rather see your girls out having fun and healthy than feeling sick in Orenda. To help ensure they make it through the term as healthy as possible, and to make sure they get the care they need as quickly as possible, we ask you to follow the suggestions below:

Pre-Camp Care
  1. Health Forms: Please make sure that you complete ALL of the required health forms, and preferably upload them through CampInTouch. In the case of an emergency, or illness, we can’t do anything until we have these forms. We try to take care of as much as possible here at camp. But sometimes the unexpected happens and we need to take campers to the doctor, dentist, urgent care, or ER. Without these forms in our hands, a provider will not be able to see your child. 
  • Medication: We have many campers that take medication, and a lot of these girls take the same medication. Please help us keep everything safe and organized by sending your child’s medication in its original container., Have it clearly labeled with your child’s name. In the case of prescription medication, it needs to be in its original container with a current prescription label. It is also important that you complete one of the Medication forms for EACH supplement or medication, prescription or over-the-counter, that you are sending. We cannot administer medication to your child without original containers and these completed forms.
Drink water to fight hydration
  • Hydration: Please help us fight the dehydration battle! Most of our Orenda visitors would not need to visit if they were properly hydrated. Make sure your child has their own water bottle, clearly labeled with their name. Reinforce to them the importance of drinking multiple bottles of water a day. Even better, start having them practice good hydration in the days leading up to camp. They will arrive ready to hit the ground running and playing!
  • Allergies: If your child is prone to allergies while at camp, you may want to consider starting her on an allergy medication. Start about a week before camp begins. Then have her continue taking it while here. This should help keep the allergies from getting too out of control. Once they are here, it seems to take about a week for the allergies to really kick in. It can take about a week for the medication to get them back under control. We don’t want them to miss out on camp fun because of allergies!
Taking time saves time

Taking the time to do these simple things will help your camper arrive ready for camp and all the fun. It also helps the Orenda staff meet all the campers’ needs in as quick a manner as possible.

Wishing your daughter a healthy and happy term at camp!

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