Signs Your Child is Physically and Mentally Ready for Burn Camp

Posted in Uncategorized on September 25, 2017

Childhood burn injuries can occur from household items, open flames, defective children’s toys, and car accidents. According to the World Health Organization, about 180,000 people around the globe die from burn-related injuries every year. Children are especially at risk of burns, with the majority of incidents occurring in the home. If your child sustained a serious burn injury, one of the highlights of his or her summers can be attending a California burn camp. First, make sure your child is physically and mentally ready for camp before enrolling.

Physical Readiness

If your child’s burns are recent enough to still require daily medical care, it is too soon for burn camp. Burn camp is meant to be fun, and the experience will typically involve adventurous outdoor activities. Your child should be well enough to participate without fear of additional injury or infection. Consult with you child’s physician before enrolling in burn camp. It is also important to speak with the camp director about what to expect, plus any services available to help your child according to his/her physical needs and abilities.  

Willingness to Explore

Your child may not feel physically well enough to engage in rigorous activities with friends or peers. It’s perfectly fine if your child cannot keep up with peers, but he or she should at least express a willingness to explore outside of the home or neighborhood. A wound may be too fresh if children prefer to be at home or close to family as they heal. Keep in mind that burn camps encourage healing in the child and the entire family after the impacts of a burn injury. If your child is unsure about attending camp, consider a tour of the premises first. Your child should feel excited about the prospect of camp.

Interest in Social Activities

After a burn that leads to scarring or disfigurement, it’s natural for your child to want to isolate him/herself from other children. Children who suffer burns may feel different than their friends or other children their age, resulting in feelings of being “weird” or “not as good.” Give your child enough time and psychological therapy to make sure he or she feels comfortable interacting with others before thinking about camp. Counselors design burn camps to help with peer interaction and to tackle social challenges burn survivors face. Your child doesn’t have to be 100% before enrolling. However, some prior social interactions may help him/her integrate well at camp.


Although there will be plenty of camp counselors and others to help your child, a sense of self-reliance can be helpful while at camp. Practice this skill with your child by sending him or her on overnight sleepovers or smaller school trips before enrolling in camp. These practice rounds can give you an idea of how well your child will fare away from family for an extended period of time. Your child should be able to handle periods of time away with significant emotional breakdowns, stress, or anxiety.

Your child will only enjoy the full benefits of burn camp after proper wound care, physical rehabilitation, and emotional therapy. You know your child best. If he or she doesn’t seem stable enough to attend something like burn camp, there is always next year.


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