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Delaware Health: Healthy Campers, the Olympics, Health Care Reform


Keep Your Camper Healthy

There are so many more day camp options now compared to when I was a kid. In the 1970s, camp offerings were mostly traditional with archery at 9:30, and then arts and crafts followed by volleyball. Now there are camps that offer TV production training, science experiments and pioneer living, to name a few.

Frankly, I am a little jealous. As a kid, I was not interested in sports so I could not have cared less if the flag was captured or if there was actually a difference between Newcomb and volleyball. Raise your hand if you think I was the first picked for any teams ever.

I remember spending my camp days with pretty bad allergies. As I was exploring camp options for my son, I began to wonder if today’s nontraditional camp programs offered the same health services that mine offered. The camps I went to had a full-time nurse. No matter which camp one might choose, there are important health considerations to address before dropping your child off at a summer program.

• Is the staff properly trained for medical emergencies?

Not every camp has a nurse on staff, so it’s helpful to know if the program staff is trained in CPR and Basic Life Support (BLS) skills. If there are activities in the woods or on field trips, what are the communication policies in place so help can be accessed immediately?

• How hot is hot?

OK, so if I whine about the heat, and I do, one can imagine overtired children coping with the hot weather. Does the camp have a policy for hot weather? Does it offer indoor options for activities? Most importantly, are staff members trained to recognize signs of heat exhaustion? Do they have an air-conditioned area that campers can retreat to for rest? How often are they checking to keep the campers properly hydrated?

• Which allergies are specifically related to summertime?

Poison ivy is an allergy and is quite common this time of year. Fortunately, it is not contagious as soon as one removes the plant oils from clothing and skin.

According to pediatrician Bethany Kutz, M.D., “The tricky part about managing to get rid of those oils is that it can take days after exposure for the rash to appear so one might not know they were exposed.”

The bees are out and ready to celebrate right along with your campers, so staff must be informed about bee allergies and have precautions available such as carrying an EpiPen. 

So, whether the summer programs for your children offer a nurse or not, it’s best to know ahead of time how the counselors are trained to treat your child in a medical situation. The staff already has the life-enriching skills; expect the life-saving ones as well.


Marisa Grimes of Ocean ViewLiving Positively

Who knew that volunteering could be an Olympic sport? One of our own, Marisa Grimes of Ocean View, will be carrying the Olympic Torch as a result of her generous efforts.

I need to tell you about this young college student because she is amazing and makes any effort I have made to volunteer look like I was simply miming being helpful.

Just like an Olympic hopeful, Grimes began her philanthropic efforts at a young age. Let’s compare her budding volunteerism to mine so you can understand my awe.

• As a kid, Marisa distributed water bottles for runners at races and “adopted” other children in Third World countries.

As a kid, I might have remembered to say “excuse me” to others if I needed to get by them. Oh, I also went house-to-house asking for money to help build a new library. I did this because I knew there would be hot chocolate and cookies at the place we dropped off our donations.

• As a high school student, Marisa created and organized a benefit to purchase school uniforms for 400 Kenyan school children. She then developed a long-term sustainable service plan for her volunteer club to maintain this effort and worked directly with the Kenyan Embassy to make it happen.

As a high school student, I told everyone that I was going to marry Rob Lowe.

• Now a busy college student, Marisa has already orchestrated a fundraiser to support tornado victims across Alabama and helped develop a nonprofit organization called Building Bright Future Inc. to fundraise for an orphanage in Ghana (where she had volunteered).

As a college student, I once let someone ahead of me in line at the dining hall because they were thinner than me and I felt they needed the food a bit more.

As a result of all her incredible efforts, Marisa was selected by Coca-Cola as one of 10 teenagers in the United States who represent the company’s “Live Positively” philosophy. She has received an all-expenses paid trip for two to England to participate in the Olympic torch relay. 

According to a recent interview, she is taking a few extra days to vacation in Scotland. She, unlike me, has certainly earned it.


Health Care Reform 101

Oh this is a loaded topic. In this health and wellness blog, I promise to not make any political claims, but to do my best to address and simplify health issues. The national health care reform law is a health-related issue, but it’s a confusing one and has inspired varied opinions from the American health care consumer.

In recent news, the law was upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court and suddenly everyone on Facebook turned into constitutional scholars. I am not quite sure how that happened. I turned to some trusted academic sources for help in understanding what this law really means so I could blog about it. The law itself is 1,000 pages long and Americans tend to only read that amount of pages if the topic is vampires, dragon tattoos and hunger games.

Consider this a primer and I will tackle this across blog entries. If you are like most Delawareans I know and love, you are likely asking “But how does this affect me as a Delawarean?” I will do my best to illustrate those benefits throughout the primer, courtesy of help from sources such as the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the Kaiser Family Health Foundation.

The health care reform law will be implemented in two key phases:

Phase One: Some changes have already been implemented, but between now and 2014:

  • Insurers will be limited and evaluated in how they spend our premium dollars. They will be accountable in ways they have not been in the past.
  • Several preventive care services such as screenings and vaccinations will become free in all new private insurance policies.
  • Delawareans, because they’re over 65 or disabled, will receive more help with their drug costs and be able to save money.
  • Young adults can stay insured by remaining on their parents’ policies up to age 26.
  • Del. small businesses will get tax breaks to help them pay for health insurance for their workers.
  • There will no longer be lifetime limits on health coverage.
  • Children can no longer be turned down for having a pre-existing health condition, like asthma or diabetes.
  • Adults with pre-existing conditions can get coverage through a plan available here in Delaware.

Because of this new law, Delaware has received millions of dollars in grants to support research and planning to implement the new Affordable Insurance Exchange and other facets of the new law as well as funding for community partnerships, volunteer physician growth, school-based health and Medicare beneficiary outreach.

Next up: Phase Two. And perhaps some cartoons to illustrate some of the finer, more complicated aspects of the plan. As far as I am concerned, we need a Schoolhouse Rock for this kind of thing.


Health Events

Thursday, July 19

Name  Bayhealth Milford Memorial Hospital Free Osteoporosis Screening
Location  Milford Memorial Hospital Outpatient Imaging Center, 1018 Mattlind Way, Milford
Time  1 p.m. to 3 p.m.
                                                       More info.  Paula Bodner, (302) 744-6997, or
                                                       Bayhealth’s Education Department at 744-7135


Thursday, July 19

Name The 9th Annual Cripple Creek Golf & Country Club/Beebe Medical Foundation Progress for Prostate Charity Golf Tournament
Location  Cripple Creek Golf & Country Club, Bethany Beach
Time 1 p.m. (registration starts at noon)
                                                       More info. 539-1446, ext. 1, or 644-2900


Wednesday, July 25

Name  2012 Pink Ribbon Rally Golf Tournament for the Delaware Breast Cancer CoalitionF
Location  Deerfield Golf Club, 507 Thompson Station Road, Newark
Time 8 a.m.
                                                       More info. 368-6640 ext. 5, dfinfo@deerfieldgolfclub.com, or 
                                                       visit www.deerfieldgolfclub.com


Saturday, July 28

Name  Henrietta Johnson Medical Center’s 6th annual 5K Walk/Run For Our Kids’ Health
Location Dravo Plaza, Wilmington Riverfront
Time 8:30 a.m. (registration opens at 7:30 a.m.)
                                                       More info. treed@hjmc.org, 655-6187, ext. 264

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