Writing about food allergies from a pediatric allergist's perspective

Summer Camp Planning for the Camper with Food Allergies

Written by Michael Pistiner MD, MMSc


swimming kidBefore camp registration, talk to the camp health officer or director and make sure that there is a well thought out food allergy policy that is followed. This is also the time to make sure that there is a health officer at camp and also to see if  there is a full-time camp nurse who is readily available.  Confirm that all staff receive food allergy management training each year.


Try to meet with the camp director, camp nurse and those responsible for food preparation prior to the first day of camp.

Get all the necessary medication and medical documentation into the camp before the first day.

  • Discuss having an individual health care plan completed by your camp nurse before the start of the camp session.
  • Provide an up-to-date Food Allergy Emergency Care Plan.
  • Submit at least two epinephrine auto-injectors (confirm that the staff has been trained to administer the specific type).
  • Consider sharing additional food allergy awareness resources with your camp.

For more information on food allergy management for the camper with food allergies see:

Summer Camp Guide for Food Allergies/Summer Camp and Food Allergies: Kids With Food Allergies Foundation Blog Post, June 2012. This post discusses important elements to consider when sending your child to camp and planning for the camper with food allergies.

Food Allergy in Camp; What Staff Needs to Know: This training module was modified in consultation with the American Camp Association and the Association of Camp Nurses. It reviews key principles in food allergy management for the camper with food allergies. With increased awareness, staff will be better equipped to deal with food allergies, keeping campers with food allergies safe.

12 Summer Camp Planning Tips to Make Summer Camp Safe for Your Child with Food Allergies: Kids With Food Allergies Foundation blog post, April 2013.

We’d love to hear from you:

Will you be sending your child to a camp this summer? Are their staff trained on the management of food allergies?


1 Comment
  1. My son is a boy scout(Soon to be Eagle scout) Sending him to Summer camp was one of the scariest thing I have has to do. His allergy’s are egg(Life threatening) at the time Beef, Lamb, cocoa, dairy plus he has numerous outdoor allergy’s along with asthma. I made a point of every year of calling the camp director at least 2 weeks before he went and explained the situation. The day of camp I would talk to the camp nurse and I would personally ask to talk to the cook and any kitchen helpers. I would bring his snacks and something for breakfast. usually they have french toast or eggs). The camp started using turkey instead of beef after that because it was cheaper.I taught my son to read and read his own labels before he entered pre k because I couldn’t be with him. Im happy to say he is 17 now, This will be his last camping trip as a boy scout:( And will I talk to the cook again this year? I sure will because he is and will be my baby forever! And because as he has gotten older and turned in to a young-man he has started taking more chances on what he eats. But that’s a whole other story. Good luck with everything, It will get easier.

Leave a Reply


All information contained on the AllergyHome.org website is intended for informational and educational purposes. The information provided on this website is not intended to be a replacement or substitute for professional medical advice. Any information that you have received from AllergyHome.org should be verified with your licensed health care provider. Furthermore, decisions regarding medical care should not be based solely upon the content of this website but made after discussions with your health care provider. Consumers should never disregard or delay seeking medical advice due to the content of this site.
Your use of this site does not create a patient-physician relationship between you and AllergyHome.org.
Medical information changes constantly. Therefore the information on this site or on the linked websites should not be considered current, complete or exhaustive, nor should you rely on such information to recommend a course of treatment for you or any other individual. Reliance on any information provided on this site or any linked websites is solely at your own risk.

Please note that AllergyHome is not affiliated with Boston Children’s Hospital

Accept Decline