Some students experience severe and potentially life threatening allergic responses when exposed to specific foods, items in the environment, or other triggers. The purpose of these guidelines is to minimize the risk at camp for students who have severe allergies through a number of measures such as building awareness by staff, following cleaning protocols, conducting regular medication training, emergency planning, and educating campers.
Camper safety is a shared responsibility
Waynflete SUMMER strives to work in partnership with a camper, his/her family and medical providers to develop a plan that provides a safe camp environment for the camper. We work to increase awareness as well as minimize a camper’s potential exposure to allergens, and are prepared to respond in the event that a camper has an adverse reaction. Some of the allergies of greatest concern to parents relate to peanuts and tree nuts. We are a “Nut Aware” camp, which means that while we don’t prohibit any particular foods, we pay close attention to a camper’s particular allergies and have a management plan to meet his/her needs.
Waynflete SUMMER has over 350 campers who range in age from 4–15. Children of all ages may at various times use all the spaces on campus. The campus grounds are also open to neighbors during non-camp hours as a walking route or for playground use and a number of events are open to the public. It would be impossible to ensure that campers never come into contact with food residue or a food item of concern. It would also be impractical, due to food manufacturing and processing practices, to eliminate nuts or nut products entirely from an environment where there is food.
Allergy Symptoms and Management Plans
Allergy symptoms can be mild or severe and show up in the skin, respiratory tract, gastrointestinal tract, and cardiovascular system. People can exhibit one or more symptoms such as itchy skin or eyes, hives, eczema, runny or stuffy nose, itching or swelling of the throat, wheezing, difficulty breathing, coughing, abdominal cramps, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, drop in blood pressure or increased heart rate. Campers who suffer from severe allergies as reported on their health forms will be asked to complete and submit an allergy management plan in consultation with their physician.
All middle and high school campers for whom an EpiPen is prescribed are expected to have a Prescription Medication form signed by their physician and carry the EpiPen with them at all times. All elementary school campers for whom an EpiPen is prescribed must have a Prescription Medication form filled out by their parents and an EpiPen in the Summer Programs office or with their program director at all times.
The campus camps and the sports camps each have faculty and staff who are trained to recognize an allergic reaction, administer an EpiPen and contact emergency response personnel.
Typical eating, cleaning and food prep protocols
Campers are not allowed to share food from home and no food is provided by Waynflete SUMMER that is known to produce an allergic reaction. If a camper has a severe food allergy, the program directors will institute practices and cleaning routines in order to minimize exposure. For example if a camper has a food allergy, the instructors 1) ensure that the child does not sit with or near a student eating that food, 2) thoroughly clean tables, and 3) require all students to wash their hands after eating. In older groups, students are increasingly expected to become more responsible for managing their own exposure to potential allergic triggers.
Emergency Supplies and Information
As noted above, campers in middle and high school with severe allergies are expected to carry an EpiPen. Parents of students in elementary school are expected to provide an EpiPen (along with all other medications) to the Summer Programs Office on the first day of camp. Exceptions may be granted by the Director of Summer Programs with submission of the required forms.
In addition, there are emergency EpiPens in locations across the main campus, at the Fore River Fields, and in first aid kits carried on all field trips. The student’s health form and Allergy Management Plan is provided to his/her program director or head coach and counselor. The Director of Summer Programs reviews student action plans at the beginning of each camp session and ensures that camp EpiPens are up to date.
Parents of students with severe allergies must provide Waynflete with an Allergy Management Plan, and any medication that their child requires for emergency treatment (i.e. Benadryl, EpiPen, asthma inhaler) in a clearly marked container. Note that “special approval” may be required. Parents are encouraged to educate their children in self-management of their allergy including: safe and unsafe foods, strategies for avoiding exposure to their allergen, symptoms of an allergic reaction, how and when to tell an adult if he or she may be having an allergy related problem and how to read food labels to avoid ingredients in commercial food (age appropriate).
Campers with severe allergies are expected to:
- Take responsibility for avoiding allergens as is appropriate for their age and developmental level.
- Not trade or share food.
- Provide their own snacks for special events when necessary.
- Wash hands before and after eating.
- Learn to recognize symptoms of an allergic reaction.
- Seek adult help if they are exposed to something they believe may trigger an allergic reaction, or believe they are experiencing an allergic reaction.
Use of Prescription Medications
Parents should consult with their child’s doctor/health care provider to coordinate the schedule of medication administration to allow their child to receive all prescribed doses of medication at home whenever possible. The first dose of a medication must always be taken at home. A prescription medication permission form must be completed for all prescription medications brought to Waynflete SUMMER, and medications will be kept in the camp’s custody. Campers may not provide prescription medication to another camper and may not accept prescription medication from another camper.
For the purposes of this policy there are three types of prescription medication: 1) controlled substances, such as Ritalin, Dexedrine and Adderall, which will always be in the custody of and administered by the camp; 2) medications that will be administered by Waynflete and kept in the camp’s custody; and 3) medications that will be administered by the camper and remain in the camper’s custody because Special Approval has been granted. All three types of prescription medication require completion of Waynflete SUMMER’s Camp Prescription Medication Permission form which is available as a two-page document on the website.
When prescription medications must be taken during the camp day, parents must do the following before their child is allowed to take a prescription medication at camp:
a) complete a Prescription Medication Permission Form (available under “Forms” on the website);
b) provide the medication in its original container with no more than one week’s supply;
c) deliver the medication to the Office Manager; and
d) update the medication permission form as necessary.
The parent has the sole responsibility for ensuring that prescriptions are filled or refilled as needed.
Only Waynflete SUMMER employees who have been designated and trained are authorized to dispense medication to students. It is the camper’s responsibility to arrive at the camp office in a timely fashion to receive his/her medication (when age appropriate).
Waynflete SUMMER reserves the right to refuse requests to administer medications or discontinue administration of a medication to a camper if any of the criteria in this policy are not met.
Campers will only be allowed to carry and self-administer prescription medications (including asthma inhalers and epinephrine (epi) pens) that are not controlled substances upon request and only if the camp has 1) received written authorization from the camper’s doctor/health care provider; 2) received written permission from the parent; and 3) the camp approves. This special approval process recognizes that there are greater risks associated with a student taking a medication without adult supervision and therefore it will only be granted if the camper’s doctor/health care provider provides such an order and the camper’s parent/guardian agrees. The camp retains sole discretion to approve or deny a request for special approval and reserves the right to rescind special approval if there is any violation of this policy or conditions of special approval by the camper. Special approval forms are attached to the Prescription Medication Permission form and available on the website.
Waynflete reserves the right to refuse requests to administer medications or discontinue administration of a medication to a camper if any of the criteria in this policy are not met.
Every camper must have an immunization record or waiver form on file. Parents will input this information during the online registration.
For those campers struggling to participate in daily activities, Waynflete will offer a supervised Quiet Room for rest and reflection. If a student, due to illness or a behavioral concern, is unable to engage with camp activities, parents will receive a phone call from the camp office. In the case of serious illness or injury, all camp staff are trained to call 911, and parents will also receive a call immediately.