Special camp offers fun and safe alternative for children with asthma
If you have a child with asthma, there's still time to sign up for a special camp.
It's the only free overnight camp in Rhode Island for children with asthma.
"They learn how to manage their asthma,” said Miosotis Alsina, the community asthma coordinator at Hasbro Children’s Hospital which holds the camp every year.
"At first I say, 'Oh, my god. My son is camping and he's allergic with pollen and everything. I said, Oh, my god,'" recalled Ana Vargas about her older son who attended asthma camp years ago.
Now her younger son, 11-year-old Michael Isom, is gearing up for a second go-round.
"It's fun and the food is great,” said Isom.
And so parents breathe easier.
"We have nurses, respiratory therapists, doctors from the emergency room,” said Alsina. "And we do like a lot of stuff like play basketball, go on the slides, go on the lake, play checkers."
"Other activities are trigger hunts for them to understand what the triggers may be and how to manage them, the warning signs," said Alsina.
Isom knows his triggers.
"Dust, shedding animals, pollen and basically grass," he said.
His hospitalizations are fewer and far between these days, said his mom. And while this overnight camp is a highlight for the kids, the Community Asthma Program of Hasbro Children's Hospital goes beyond the camp, featuring year-round asthma education programs.
"I love it because they're not working just with the patient. They're working with the family,” said Vargas.
About 30 kids between the ages of 9 and 13 attend this camp every year. This year it's June 24-28 in Exeter. The application deadline has been extended to May 8 so you have a few days to apply.