Saturday, June 7, 2014

First Week of Summer Camp 2014

This past week was the beginning of the local Boys and Girls Club summer camp.  Both Bubs and GirlyGirl attended this program last summer, but this summer there are different program managers.  One of them is the program manager of the after school program and is familiar with my kids' allergies, but the other one is someone I haven't met before. 

On the first morning, I attempted to find the kids' teachers.  However, things were completely chaotic. No one seemed to know which class they would be in charge of.  I was being sent to one person after another, each one saying the next would be my child's teacher.  No one really knew where they would be yet.  Some of the teachers knew my kids from the after school program or from last year's summer camp, so I gave them a quick allergy low down and left the meds in their hands.  Then I went to work and hoped for the best. 

Feeling very frustrated and uneasy the whole day, I decided to leave work a bit early to try to find one of the people in charge. I was just going to send a lengthy e-mail, but I thought it would be best to talk with someone in person. 

I was able to meet with the program manager I haven't met before, and we spent quite a bit of time talking.  I explained our situation, and she was very receptive.  In fact, she herself has a special diet with many non-anaphylactic food allergies.  (She actually gets it!!!)

I spent time explaining that they need to keep their meds near them at all times, including field trips and all time away from the school, keeping them at appropriate temperatures. The meds cannot be left of the bus or left laying in the sun at the pool.  

I tried to emphasize that they were to eat only what I provide, and that I would bring anything necessary if I knew ahead of time that the class would be doing something special.

I also asked that they use only their sunscreen, since some brands may contain their allergens.

I also reminded her that I met with the Director of Boys and Girls Club last summer and got the wording changed for EpiPen administration to First Aid rather than medication administration (which they don't do).  You can read my posts about that here and here.

She apologized for the chaos of the first day and explained that things would get better.

I am so relieved to know that the people running the show actually understand and care about my kids' needs.

I sent an e-mail followup outlining what we had discussed, mostly so she could share it with her staff. I offered to educate the staff on EpiPen administration, in addition to education on preventing a reaction, recognizing the signs/symptoms of a reaction, and how to respond in an emergency.  Prevent, Recognize, Respond.

She wrote back thanking me for my efforts and detailed information.  Sometimes I feel like that helicopter mom, but unless you deal with food allergies daily for the ones you love the most, those details are so very important.  And I don't even mind being called or thought of as a helicopter mom.  Whatever it takes to keep my little ones safe.

Here's to hoping we have a fun, reaction-free summer!

No comments:

Post a Comment