Parents of children with asthma often are concerned with their children’s well-being, especially when playing. This can lead parents to hinder their children’s attempts to take part in physical activities.
Asthma camps offer a unique solution.
These camps are offered exclusively to children with persistent asthma who are typically unable to attend the same summer camps as other kids because of their chronic disease and daily medications, or because parents are uncertain about the level of care their children will receive away from home.
Asthma summer camps provide a fun, interactive way to educate and engage children. Through these camps, children learn how asthma affects their bodies, what triggers it, and how their medications work. They also learn how to enjoy summer camp without their disease preventing them from participating in the same activities as children who do not have asthma.
The Consortium on Children’s Asthma Camps organizes camps across the country that are run by highly trained medical professionals, including specialists, physicians, nurses, and respiratory therapists, to ensure the campers’ asthma is well managed.
The consortium is composed of representatives from:
- American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology
- American Academy of Pediatrics
- Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America
- American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology
- American Lung Association
- American Thoracic Society
Pennsylvania camps include:
- Camp AsthmaCadabra in White Haven from Aug. 2₋5, 2018
- Shoot for Your Good Health Asthma Camp in Pittsburgh (dates TBD)
Visit The Consortium on Children’s Asthma Camps website for more details.
These programs allow campers to connect with other kids just like them and experience outdoor activities in a medically safe environment. Activities include swimming, canoeing, kayaking, arts and crafts, outdoor cooking, archery, high- and low-ropes courses, sports, and nature walks.
Asthma camps provide additional benefits to children long after they leave. Documented research shows that, for the year after children attend an asthma camp, they manage their disease better, which results in fewer missed school days, physician and ER visits, and hospital admissions related to their asthma.
That results directly from asthma camps teaching children about identifying symptoms, how and when to take their medications, and the ways in which to safely participate in activities. In this way, the camps give students the opportunity to increase their self-confidence and autonomy in managing their asthma.
For additional educational material, read the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Asthma Fast Facts sheet for kids!