Outdoor activities, games and camaraderie in store for asthmatic children at Camp Easy Breathers

CORPUS CHRISTI – Asthmatic children will partake in some swashbuckling this summer as the 13th annual Camp Easy Breathers gets underway in Rockport. Sponsored by Driscoll Children’s Hospital, the Coastal Bend Community Foundation and the Coastal Bend Asthma Initiative, it will be from June 16-20, 2014 at Camp Aranzazu.

“A Wild and Wacky theme is being incorporated into some of the group activities this year,” said Shelly Bigelow, camp director and respiratory therapist at Driscoll Children’s Hospital. “It’s about team building and helping the kids get to know each other better.”

While there is no cure for asthma, Camp Easy Breathers emphasizes to children with the disease that they can live a healthy, active life. The physical and social activities they’ll experience will be fun and also increase their understanding of asthma, Bigelow said.

The camp utilizes interactive teaching methods such as open dialogue, various media, activities and game-play. All will reinforce key lessons to the children such as:

  • Understanding asthma and how it affects them;
  • Recognizing and avoiding asthma attack triggers;
  • Recognizing warning signs to improve asthma management;
  • Knowing how and when to take medicine;
  • Staying healthy and staying in school.

Activities at the camp will include swimming, archery, arts and crafts, outdoor games, sports and an awards show.

“Camp Easy Breathers is a great opportunity for children to make new friends, become more independent and take on real challenges in a safe environment,” Bigelow said.

Asthma is a chronic disease in which the airways in the lungs become swollen, clogged and overly sensitive to changes in the environment. During an attack, the muscles that surround the airways tighten and the inner lining of the airways swells and pushes inward. Asthma kills about 5,000 Americans each year and costs the United States more than $10 billion a year in direct and indirect medical expenses. Timely diagnosis, appropriate treatment, partnership with a healthcare professional and reduction of exposure to environmental factors are some of the things that help children living with asthma.

What: 13th annual Camp Easy Breathers for asthmatic children ages 7-14
When: June 16-20
Where: Camp Aranzazu, 5420 Loop 1781, Rockport