Summer camps – both day camps and overnight camps – were re-opened in Texas as a part of Governor Abbott’s campaign to re-open the state safely and strategically. The “Open Texas” campaign is intended to revitalize all aspects of Texas, including businesses, schools, and entertainment venues. Summer camps are among the many institutions re-opening, and that has left many parents with lingering questions about the specifics around the new safety precautions and guidelines of sending their children to summer camp.
Camps are Open in Texas
There are two basic kinds of summer camps – residential / overnight camps, and day camps, both of which have defined guidelines and safety protocols in place to protect the children in attendance. You can find the guidelines for overnight camps, and those in place for day camps by visiting the Governor’s Strike Force to Open Texas website.
Understand Your Child’s General Health, and Act Accordingly
Before you can send your child to any sort of summer camp in Texas, it’s important to have an accurate understanding of their general health. Has your child recently been ill? Have they had contact with someone with COVID-19? Does your child have an illness that puts them at a higher risk for developing complications as a result of contracting COVIOD-19? It’s imperative to be thorough and honest when assessing your children’s health before sending them to camp to prevent the accidental spread of COVID-19. Use the same screening questions you’ve been asked at the doctor’s office or when returning to work as a frame of reference.
If your child has tested positive for COVID-19 then you must keep them at home and away from other campers. If your child exhibits any symptoms of COVID-19 like cough, fever, fatigue, chills, headache, muscle or body aches, loss of taste or smell, or shortness of breath, then you should quarantine them and immediately contact your family physician to test them for COVID-19.
Check out the Minimum Standard Health Protocols and Ask Around
After confirming your child’s health, it’s a good idea to familiarize yourself with the standard health protocols as they apply to the camp your child wishes to attend. After understanding Texas’ basic health protocols, call around to prospective camps and ask them about the safety measures they’re putting in place to protect their campers.
Questions to ask:
- If someone gets sick at camp, will everyone else be sent home?
- Is the camp instituting social distancing, or requiring their employees to wear masks?
- Is there a screening process for campers?
Getting these questions answered will give you a better handle on the overall safety of a potential summer camp and should give you a good range of summer camp options. Even with safety protocols in place, kids get sick every day and the risk of contracting COVID-19 is still present. Just make sure you and your child are prepared child to respond in the instance that there is a confirmed case of COVID at camp.
Make a Final Judgement Call
If your child is healthy, and you’ve located a summer camp that is abiding by all of the guidelines outlined in Texas’ Minimum Standard Health Protocols, then it’s much safer for your child to attend camp. As the parent, it’s ultimately up to you to decide about whether or not it’s a good idea and in the best interests of your family to send your child to camp. There’s a lot of factors to consider, but, as long as your child is healthy then they can legally attend camp in Texas.
Take Necessary Preventative Measures If You Send Your Child to Camp
Even with the camp staff abiding by safety protocols, it’s always important that your child understands what they can do to prevent the spread of germs. Remind them to wash their hands thoroughly for 30-seconds after being outside and touching things in a public space. Ask that they try to socially distance themselves from friends and implore them to wear a mask inside where other people will be. Give them 2 bottles of travel-sized hand sanitizer to use when washing their hands isn’t an option and urge them to speak up if they think on of their fellow campers may be sick.
Follow Along as Texas Re-opens
There’s going to be a lot of questions about how to adapt to new regulations and best practices as Texas continues to re-open. You can stay up-to-date on all of the latest COVID-19 information and best practices by following us on social media and sharing posts with the #DAYxDAY hashtag. You can also join our newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest COVID-19 news and to learn more about what you can do to flatten the curve in Fort Worth.