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Going Gluten-FreeAugust 1, 2012

Allergy-Smart Summer Camp

Getting your child ready for summer camp is a serious task. But what about getting the camp ready?

Now help is on the way, thanks to Dr. Michael Pistiner and Dr. John Lee. These two Boston-based pediatric allergists (both Living Without contributors) have created a web-based education module to help camps teach their staff how to care for food-allergic campers. Endorsed by the Association of Camp Nurses and the American Camp Association, the training module is totally free. In addition, camp staff who complete the training can collect free educational credits.

The training, called “Management of Food Allergies in Camps: What Staff Need to Know,” is offered on Pistiner’s and Lee’s free educational website, AllergyHome.org, and is available on Camps.AllergyHome.org. In addition, there are four other educational modules:

  • How to Use an EpiPen,
  • How to Read an Ingredient Label for Food Allergens,
  • What is a Food Allergy? (a short video for young children), and
  • Competency Test to Assess Food Allergy Knowledge

In an interview with the American Camp Association New England, Dr. Pistiner, who was an avid day camper as a child and worked as a camp water safety instructor in high school, talks about camp safety:

"Imagine this: You’re a camp counselor, a child with a known food allergy has hives, is coughing and is throwing up. The nurse is 20 minutes away. Now what?

Kids with food allergies should be able to participate in all the summer fun that other children experience as well…. We hope to give camp nurses and administrators the tools to help them train their staff and increase an awareness that may save a life.

… In our perfect world, every camp would make food allergy education a priority and we want to help encourage and support that.”

Bravo to that! 

To read Dr. Pistiner’s full interview with the American Camp Association New England, click here.

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