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What to Pack Your Child for Summer Camp

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What to Pack Your Child for Summer Camp

Summer vacation is here, and many parents are preparing to send their children off to summer camp for exciting adventures and new experiences! To ensure your child's time away is safe and enjoyable, it's important to help them pack smart.

The team at Southwest General Health Center has put together a list of essential items to include on your child's summer camp packing list!

Your Summer Camp Packing List

While some camps will provide a number of the items on this list, it is always best to err on the side of caution and pack them anyway to make sure your child is fully prepared.


According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, one blistering sunburn during childhood or adolescence can double the risk of developing melanoma later in life. Therefore, protecting your child's skin from harmful UV rays is crucial during outdoor activities. Choose a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher and ensure it offers both UVA and UVB protection. If you know that your child will be swimming while at camp, consider choosing a water-resistant sunscreen.

Remind your kiddo to apply the sunscreen generously before going outdoors and to reapply every two hours or after swimming or sweating excessively.

Bug Spray

Campgrounds and outdoor areas often attract insects, so it's important to pack insect repellent to keep bugs at bay. Look for an EPA-approved repellent that contains ingredients like DEET, picaridin or oil of lemon eucalyptus. Encourage your child to wear lightweight long-sleeved shirts and pants to minimize exposure and to apply their bug spray before heading to the campfire!

Bandaids and First-Aid Supplies

Minor cuts, scrapes and blisters are common occurrences during camp activities. Pack a supply of adhesive bandages (different sizes), antiseptic wipes and any necessary first-aid supplies. Ensure your child knows how to properly clean and cover minor wounds to prevent infection and to seek help from an adult should they get injured.

Swim Gear

Many summer camps offer swimming or water-related activities. Pack a swimsuit, swim cap (if required), goggles and a beach towel. If your child is not a confident swimmer, consider providing them with a personal flotation device (PFD) for added safety.

Hand Sanitizer

Hygiene is essential, especially when multiple children gather in close quarters. Include a travel-sized hand sanitizer in your child's bag to promote cleanliness. Remind them to use it before meals, after using the restroom and when returning from outdoor activities.

Prescription Medications

If your child requires prescription medications, it is crucial that you provide clear instructions to camp staff regarding administration of the medication. Pack an adequate supply for the duration of your child’s camp stay. Medications should be packed in their original containers, clearly labeled with your child's name, dosage instructions and any necessary allergy information.

It’s Time for Summer Fun!

Sending your child off to summer camp is an exciting and rewarding experience. By packing smart and including essential items in their backpack, you can help ensure their safety and well-being during their time away.

Should your child become ill or injured while they are away, be sure to schedule an appointment with their doctor upon returning home. Southwest General Medical Group, Inc. (SGMG) includes primary care providers who are committed to providing patients with high-quality medical care. For more information and to reach out to our team and schedule an appointment, visit our website at