(WFSB) -- In this week’s Wellness Wednesday report, experts are weighing in on how to keep children safe at camp this summer, amid the pandemic.
“Besides being a doctor, I am also a mother. I am very excited to see my 10-year-old daughter go to summer camp. And you can be safe, but you have to follow the rules,” said Dr. Mary Mason.
She said parents need to know what the rules are, and ask questions, like will campers need to be tested for COVID? How often will things be cleaned? Will there be social distancing?
“One of the questions to ask is how are the kids to be arranged in groups. Is it a small group or pod who eats together and sleeps together if it’s a sleep away camp? Because that is one way to keep the kids safe instead of having them mixed within the entire camp population,” Mason said.
Sleep away camps may have even more guidelines.
For example, the Centers for Disease Control advises sleep-away camps to require proof of a negative COVID test for campers who are too young to be vaccinated.
“Camps have found how to be safe, but it goes back to is it a well-ventilated room, how will the kids be arranged, what will the spacing be,” she explained. “Another thing we do in our little medical school classes is we have them measure off distances to understand what is 6 feet, what is 3 feet, so they see what that means from a social distancing standpoint.”
When it comes to a mask mandate, Mason said “this is really a moving target. The assumption is yes, you will have to wear a mask. But when can they take it off, how often do they have to wear it and what activity. Those are important questions to ask.”
Also, parents should talk to their children about the rules and why it’s important to follow them, so everyone can be safe.
“It’s a great teaching moment in accountability for them, especially in this public health crisis,” Mason said.