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Friday, May 4, 2012

Hhm, summer camp time-gulp!!!

I'm a bit nervous because my daughter went on an overnight camp out with her school. They normally go during the summer for a week long camp out. I don't send my kids because being that far away from medical help (and more importantly-people that understand asthma) makes me nervous! All three of my kids are allergic to anything that's alive....literally. Trees, flowers, bushes, cats, dogs, horses, etc, etc. So being in the outdoors can be a challenge. Depending on what the pollen levels are and what is blooming that day can make them miserable or cause an asthma attack.

This year the school took the kids on an overnight camp out. I remember the camp well, I attended it when I was a kid. Now it's my daughter's turn. And I remember it being a VERY long bus ride. And it was also in the middle of nowhere. Which means no medical help.

The problem with asthma, is that unlike most diseases, asthma is affected by the environment. So a dusty camping area, lots of greenery and animals can all cause asthma attacks. And regular camps don't usually have people that specialize in asthma. Just leaders that are trained in 1st Aid.

American Lung Association of Utah has an option for parents who worry about sending their kids to a regular camp. Camp Wyatt is specially staffed 24 hours a day by asthma doctors, respiratory therapists, nurses and pharmacists. They make sure the kids are taking their medication correctly and make sure the campers check their peak flow twice a day. Asthma is a disease that uses very different medication, equipment, and terminology. (You may remember what it was like when you were learning about asthma, it's a whole new confusing world!) It's vital to have someone who specializes in asthma when kids are having problems breathing.  To watch a video of what Camp Wyatt is like, click here. 

At Camp Wyatt, kids with asthma can do things that all the other kids do-rock climbing, canoeing, archery, swimming, arts and crafts and much more. It's July 9th-13th this year. 

Don't feel like you can't send your children because of the price of the camp. They have "camperships" for kids (think scholarships.) If you are interested, check out American Lung Association's website and see if it might be an option for you. Camp is a fun experience, and all kids should have the chance to go! Mmmmm, s'mores.......

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