Adults with allergies and parents and their child, along with school and camp staff need to work together to manage food allergies safely.
Planning and preparation
Planning ahead is critical:
1. Ensure two adrenaline (epinephrine) injectors are within their expiry date and the ASCIA Action Plan is current. It is important to ensure that other medications (e.g. antihistamines, asthma reliever puffers) are also within expiry.
2. Meet with the camp coordinator well in advance and discuss the following:
- Are all staff attending trained in severe allergy management?
- Is it possible to volunteer? Note: this is generally only recommended for primary school aged children going on camp, especially those with multiple food allergies.
- Who will be catering for the camp?
- Are there any planned activities that involve food?
- Is it possible to send meals and/or snacks?
- Where will the adrenaline injectors be stored?
- Request to review the Emergency Response plan for the camp
3. Meet with the camp operators in advance and discuss the following:
- Have camp staff been trained in food allergy management and emergency treatment?
- How do they manage food allergies at their camp facility?
- Is there a documented system for managing food allergies?
- Has the correct information about their child’s food allergies been provided (e.g. by the school)?
- What strategies have been put in place to reduce risks?
- Is it possible to remove any of the food allergens while your child is on camp?
- Are there any off-site activities planned?
- What emergency response plan does the camp facility have?
- Can emergency care access the camp and how far away is the nearest ambulance service and hospital?
4. Speak to the chef/cook at the camp at least 10 working days in advance (to give them adequate time to plan and order food):
- Do the staff who prepare and serve food have experience with preparing meals for people with food allergies?
- Have the staff who prepare and serve food completed the All about Allergens for Camps online training?
- How do they minimise cross contamination with food allergens?
- Request a copy of the menu for camp and discuss alternatives for your child where appropriate.
- How is food served to campers?
- Is there someone who attends to those with dietary requests?
- What storage facilities are available for meals brought from home?
If you are concerned about the ability of the camp to provide appropriate meals (particularly if a person has multiple allergies), consider providing your own meals. Often the main meals can be catered for, but snacks may need to be provided, depending on the food allergies being managed.
The Allergy & Anaphylaxis Australia preparing for camp e-book is available for download:
Content updated July 2021