June 8, 2012
Magen LI-YILC outlines camp safety for parents
Empowering and reassuring your children
Dr. Susan K. Schulman, a Boro Park based pediatrician and author of “Understanding Your Children’s Health,” addressed a riveted audience of over 50 men and women Monday evening at Young Israel of Lawrence Cedarhurst, about the hazards facing children today, especially in summer camp.
The talk ranged from daily summer topics of sunscreen and water safety to concerns with sexual abuse. “Children need to be immunized against this type of abuse,” she warned. “It is like a disease. We have to strengthen their gut, their understanding, about what safety matters are, so they are able to say, ‘I know my mommy told me something like this might happen.’”
Keeping Our Children Safe in Camp: A Community-Wide Program for Parents, was sponsored by Magen LI. Dr. David Pelcovitz, Straus Professor of Psychology and Education, Azrieli Graduate School, Yeshiva University, also spoke on child safety.
“The children you are talking to now will talk to their own children,” noted Schulman. The problems with child and sexual abuse, were “always there,” she said. The children “never came forward, the abuser kept abusing.”
In a rapid, pointed, sharply worded, rat-tat-tat delivery, Dr. Schulman laid out guidelines for the overall safety of children. Parents and children have to “learn the basics on how to keep the whole body safe, not just from molesters,” she said.
“Hydration,” she announced, tell your children that they “gotta drink, gotta drink, gotta drink. Kids are fainting every day, they are throwing up from dehydration. You don’t have to send water bottles; they can drink from the sink.”
Give your children spray sunscreen to take to camp, she instructed. “It’s quick and easy, but on the face they have to shmear. It prevents burns and trouble later on. There is no such thing as sun tanning—it’s sun damage. The skin turns to cracked leather when you get older. Tell them it prevents wrinkles.”
“Swimming,” she stated. “Never swim alone. It’s an absolute rule. You have to be with somebody, the same with boating. All the statistics indicate that the worst things happen when no one is with you.”