CORPUS CHRISTI, Tx — This week, Driscoll Children’s Hospital is hosting its summer camp, Camp Easy Breathers for young children with asthma. It’s like the backwoods escape you imagine but the campers need to take a few extra steps to enjoy all the outdoor activities without worrying about feeling sick. This camp is held every summer for 7- to 14-year-old kids and teens and it comes at a time when we’re seeing a lot of Saharan dust moving into the coastal bend. Plus, the air quality for the next three days is considered to be unhealthy for sensitive groups.
“If I get around feathers anytime. They trigger me. They give me rashes and make sneeze and cough,” said 10-year-old Emma Milam.
Milam said her asthma triggers include feathers, cat fur, pollen and sometimes grass. During the summertime, Emma said she could encounter them all.
“Make sure you take your inhaler all the time because if you don’t then you can get to where you have an asthma attack and you’ll have to go to the emergency room and that’s not fun,” Emma said.
According to Driscoll Children’s Hospital over 19,000 children in the Coastal Bend are labeled to have some type of asthma. Though for the last 20 years, when these kids start their summer break, they have a safe, fun place to retreat for a few days.
“We want to make are that they are fine and healthy, and they can enjoy the outdoors,” said a Camp Easy Breathers staff member.
To make sure they are ready for the day, every child at Camp Easy Breathers has what they need in their backpack.
Pulmonologist Santiago Encalada said the staff have to think about things like the weather, allergies and exercise.
“We make sure every single kid gets their medication every morning and every nighttime,” said Encalada.
Staff are also there to answer questions and make everyone feel comfortable and confident.
In her second year of attending Camp Easy Breathers, Emma Milam said she’s built up her confidence and she feels safe when she’s outdoors.