201505050845PR_NEWS_USPR_____PH98173 20150505T084500-0400 prnewswire.com 20150505 PH98173 1 urn:newsml:prnewswire.com:20150505:PH98173:1 20150505T084500-0400 20150505T084500-0400 MimeType/@FormalName The Two Questions Parents Must Answer About Summer Camp For Children With Illnesses NEW YORK, May 5, 2015 CAMP-SIMCHA-SPECIAL 201505050845PR_NEWS_USPR_____PH98173.xml The Two Questions Parents Must Answer About Summer Camp For Children With Illnesses

The Two Questions Parents Must Answer About Summer Camp For Children With Illnesses

PR Newswire

NEW YORK, May 5, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- While most parents of overnight campers are already thinking about trunks and sunscreen, one group of moms and dads still unsure about sleepaway camp are the parents of children who are ill or disabled.

Photo - http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20150504/213664

Rivkah Reichmann, associate director of Camp Simcha Special, a camp for chronically ill children and teens in Glen Spey, NY, has counseled hundreds of parents since the camp was established in 2001. She asks parents two questions to help them decide on camping options.

  • Can the child's health and safety needs be met by the camp?

    Clearly, this is the most important concern. Parents should ascertain that the camp's facilities are appropriate. If the child needs a wheelchair or walker, there should be easy access to every building so that the child can participate in all aspects of camp life. Equally important, maintenance and cleanliness standards must be high. Parents should also check the medical program: is there staff who can deal with day-to-day needs and emergencies? Does the camp have emergency procedures? What about medication? Injections? Does the camp feel confident that its medical staff can deal with your child's health requirements? Do you?
  • What about your child's social and emotional needs?

    Summer camp is about friends and fun, but it's also about growth and self-enhancement. The best camp for your child will allow him or her to shine through friendships and new skills. When the choice is between a "normal" camp and one designed for children with special needs, parents should consider the child's social life throughout the year. Children who have to work to keep up may do better in a camp where everyone is working at their pace.

    "Sometimes children with illnesses or disabilities are the only kids who are sick in school. They are labeled. They feel left out. They may have few friends. These children may do better in an environment of peers, where all the children are struggling with similar challenges," said Mrs. Reichmann. "They learn to appreciate their own strengths and differences. They are no longer isolated. The 'bump' they get at camp may be enough to make a difference all year long."

Email with your questions or for more information.

Contact: Melanie Kwestel
Director of Communications, Team Lifeline
212 699-6638 (o)
201 741-7811 (c)

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SOURCE Camp Simcha Special