Written by Staff Writer
Summer camp is a beloved institution for many kids and a time of great social growth. But when children are cooped up in one place for extended periods of time, many experience increased risk of sleep-related respiratory infections (RSIs).
“Somewhere between 1.5 and 3% of kids who participate in supervised summer camps in the United States contract a respiratory tract infection (RSI) during their stay,” said Dr. Jeffrey Duchin, director of the US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases (NCIRD). “RSIs can be life-threatening to kids, and we want to reduce them.”
In this video, Duchin says there are some steps that camp operators can take to help prevent RSIs.
The CDC says campers who participate in structured activities indoors are more likely to get RSIs than kids who are outdoors, due to heat, humidity and increased density.
While campers normally remain in a high humidity range, people in such settings may more easily develop pneumonia if they are exposed to mold. Studies show RSIs are linked to elevated mold levels in air.
The CDC has begun collecting data to help determine which types of activities are causing these RSIs. In particular, they want to know which activities produce the highest numbers of RSIs.
This includes activities that expose children to allergens, bacteria and viruses. Taking these steps can help reduce the spread of these potential causes of illness.