A Season of Safety and Fun: A Care Package of Health and Wellness for Summer Camp

    In a few weeks, there will be a mass exodus—we will hear the cheers and hosannas of tens of millions of children—as they race toward the exits, to waiting parents, bus drivers and crossing guards, at the end of the last day of school.

    Many of these boys and girls will celebrate this occasion by filling their knapsacks with anything but textbooks, while their mothers and fathers stuff luggage and trunks with blankets, pillows and sheets, and cellphones and tablets, as well as boots, raincoats, umbrellas, jackets, and sneakers and socks. 

    A nation readies itself for sleepaway camp.

    To the parents charged with organizing those suitcases, and among the ever-vigilant mothers making an inventory of their child's allergies and food restrictions, for the fathers collecting the medicines and ointments their son or daughter must take, with detailed instructions for a camp counselor to follow regarding dispensing each pill and powder, I offer this reminder: Do not forget to give your child the security he or she will need after you bid farewell, and make your way over the river and through the woods back onto the interstate; your station wagon, hybrid or SUV in a long queue of traffic, as other parents drive home from those camps in New Hampshire, Massachusetts and Vermont, or Michigan, Wisconsin and Minnesota. 

    Do not forget to give your child the protection he or she deserves, when exploring—and fighting the effects from—the great outdoors. Put every mosquito and pest on notice, and let every sufferer of exposure to poison ivy know that the feast is over; your child's skin is no longer a blood bank for insects, and a canvass for unwelcome vines, weeds and plants.

    I issue this warning as the founder of Kiss My Itch Goodbye®, which is an organic means of alleviating the symptoms of chronic itch and irritated skin, because I know how serious this threat is; and I want children to enjoy their summer, outdoors, not inside a camp infirmary or an empty cabin while everyone else swims, sings, swings (from climbing ropes and hammocks) and savors those delicious s'mores. 

    I also want to save that child's skin from the scratches caused by the itching induced by so many pests. I want parents and camp counselors to know that we need not battle these things by waging war against the environment.

    We can be green in our actions against poisonous greenery without emptying aerosol cans containing pesticides, harmful chemicals and toxic fumes.

    The air our children breathe should be as pure as the perfumery of nature. The smell of dandelions and sycamore trees, the mist from a morning lake and the dew from wet grass—these are the smells to savor, not the clouds of bug sprays and makeshift smokestacks that make us cough and wince.

    Let us rejoice in a summer of health and wellness, where every child is safe, every camper is secure and every parent is sound in the knowledge that we are free of any and all harsh repellents.

    Let us rejoice, period.

    Rejoice in this freedom, and revel in the benefits of organic foods, products and services.

    The rewards are too great to ignore. WF

    Merry Richon is an entrepreneur and the founder of Kiss My Itch Goodbye®, an all-natural and holistic means of alleviating the itching sensation caused by variety of external factors.

    Posted on WholeFoodsMagazine.com 5/15/2015

    This piece is not intended to be taken as medical advice. Speak to a healthcare provider to get more information about diabetes and any potential side effects.