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camp site with inhaler badge

Time for Asthma Camps!

School is almost out, and many parents are making plans for summer camp.

As a worried parent...

I used to dread every summer because my two sons with asthma would go to Scout camp. And of course, the Scout leaders always picked remote areas to go hiking, canoeing, or river rafting. That made me nervous as a mom because they are too far away from medical help. Those with asthma know that it can flare up at any time -- and sometimes at the worst times!

To make me feel better, my husband went on all camp outs, and I would carefully pack their inhalers, the nebulizer, vials of Albuterol, cup and tubing kits,oxygen monitor and adapter for the truck (so he could plug the nebulizer in.) Now they make battery operated nebulizers -- which makes it a lot easier to go camping!

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Have you heard about asthma camp?

For those of you who worry about sending a child with asthma to camp, there are asthma camps!

They are special camps across the U.S. with medical staff on hand at all times (doctors, nurses, respiratory therapists, and even asthma and allergy specialists.) Kids can be around other kids just like them and they might feel for the first time like someone else "gets it".

The kids get asthma education, along with the fun side of camp -- swimming, kayaking, archery, ropes courses, nature walks, and even arts and crafts. And parents and other caregivers can rest easy knowing they are in a safe place with trained medical staff.

This video shows what it looks like at an asthma camp. To find a camp near you, you can visit The Consortium on Children's Asthma Camps.

The benefits of asthma camp

So, are these camps much different from "mainstream" camps? Well, The Consortium on Children's Camps has studied that very question. What they found is that kids who attend asthma camp are more likely to take their daily, controller (or preventer) inhaler. They are also 33% less likely to end up in the hospital! (Maybe they actually listened during the asthma education class?)

Has anyone sent their kids to asthma camp? Did they have fun (and learn something?) And feel more "normal"?

Follow me on social media for more stories from an asthma mom at @life_asthma or My Life as an Asthma Mom.

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

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