Parents and children may be tempted to skip the summer camp experience. It’s natural to feel protective of our children. It’s also important that we encourage them to have as many normal, healthy experiences as possible. This teaches them how to live with Migraine in the real world. With a little extra planning, Migraine doesn’t have to stop our kids from enjoying all the fun that summer camp has to offer.
Parents of kids and teens with Migraine must balance the need to avoid triggers with encouraging participation in as many important milestones as possible. These rites of passage are essential to healthy growth and development. Summer camp is one such experience.
Try these tips to prepare your child and the adults responsible for his or her care.
1. Create a Migraine kit
Work with your child to create a kit full of comfort items needed during an attack. The camp will likely require prescription medications to be held in a secure location. That doesn’t stop your child from having easy access to ice packs, a sleep mask, dark sunglasses, ear plugs, or a vial of peppermint oil to ease the discomfort of an attack. Encourage your child to seek help to use the prescribed acute medication at the first sign of an attack.
2. Send instructions
It’s a good idea to send written instructions attached to the health forms that accompany the application. Create a Migraine response protocol and have your child’s doctor sign off on it. The physician’s signature will carry more weight and the camp staff is more likely to take it seriously.
Include the following:
- List of medications with dosing instructions
- Name and phone number of your child’s Migraine specialist
- Description of the actions needed to help your child recover, such as lying down in a cool, dark room, the use of ice packs, sips of ginger ale for nausea, etc.
- Instructions on what to do if the attack does not respond to treatment. Include the use of rescue treatments, reasons to call home, and when to seek emergency treatment.
3. Call ahead
Ask to speak with the camp director, nurse, or medic. There’s nothing better than a live conversation to help people understand each other. By making that personal introduction, your child now becomes more than just a name on a list.
With a little extra planning, Migraine need not prevent your child from enjoying the summer camp experience.