Camps lack necessary anaphylaxis preparedness

December 13, 2019

Bug bites, sunburn, and homesickness are the worst things that parents likely expect to happen to their children when they send them off to summer camp. However, a new study in Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology: In Practice indicates that camp may not be prepared to recognize and treat anaphylaxis caused by food allergies.

Bug bites, sunburn, and homesickness are the worst things that parents likely expect to happen to their children when they send them off to summer camp. However, a new study in Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology: In Practice indicates that camp may not be prepared to recognize and treat anaphylaxis caused by food allergies.

The researchers worked with CampDoc.com to deploy a 20-question survey to camp leaders at 528 camps in February 2016. The survey included questions about training, medication availability, food allergy policies, anaphylaxis events, whether there was confidence in staff’s ability to recognize and treat anaphylaxis, as well as demographics.

They received 559 responses from 258 camps.

Results

  •   Nearly 95% of the camps noted that children with food allergies attended their camp.

  •   Only 266 of responses stated that every camper was required to submit an individualized emergency action plan.

  •   Twenty-four percent reported having at least once incident of anaphylaxis treated with epinephrine in the previous 2 years at their camp

  •   Camps with a previous incident were more likely to have training sessions for their staff (odds ratio=2.46 (95% confidence interval 1.4 - 4.3).

  •   Nearly two-thirds of overall responses reported a training session presence, with 15.6% of camp leaders unsatisfied with training materials and one-third not confident that staff could manage anaphylaxis.

The researchers concluded that anaphylaxis management training as well as policies for the management of food anaphylaxis events are missing at a large number of camps. They stressed that food allergy training tailored to camps is desperately needed.

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