New Haven summer camp helps kids with asthma

NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH)–  Kids with asthma can find it hard to keep up with all the activities of a summer camp. That why one camp in New Haven is helping kids with asthma and other health issues have fun this summer.

When 9 year-old Tradiq Scurry is running around and playing with other kids, he sometimes feels shot of breath. What does he do? “I go take my inhaler,” Scurry said.

That is part of what kids learn at Camp Easy Breezy.

“They certainly increase their knowledge and understanding of what it means to have asthma and their knowledge and understanding of what some of those triggers are and why it’s important for them to have their inhalers and why it’s important to use them,” explained New Haven Health Department Director Byron Kennedy.

Camp is not all asthma talk, however. For the next six weeks, campers will go on field trips, go outside, and play just like at any other camp. They will also spend plenty of time indoors, when necessary, getting the care they need to stay healthy.

“They’re in an air conditioned building for the days that it’s too hot to go outside, and there’s a trained, on-staff nurse for the entire program, not some college kid with a first aid pack,” said Jennifer Moran, whose daughter is attending Camp Easy Breezy for the second year.

As the kids get to know each other, they get to know more about their condition as well.

“And in many cases you may have a kid who is more comfortable helping manage his condition compared to another kid, so that type of sharing can go on,” said Kennedy.

New Haven has the only asthma-focused camp in the state of Connecticut. It’s needed because New Haven has the highest asthma rates of anywhere in the state. Hospitalization rates for asthma are five times higher than the state average. We’re not sure why. Allergens maybe. Pollution, possibly, there are two interstates nearby. Maybe adults smoking around kids.

Whatever the reason, camp Easy Breezy is growing in popularity. They started last year with about 20 kids. They expect around 40 this year.

Kids like 6 year-old Zoe Frasier are not going to let asthma keep them from enjoying a summer camp. “I just play like all the other kids,” she said.

The health director says there is still time to sign up. This camp runs for the next 6 weeks, 9 am-3 pm. It costs $195. For more information, you can call 203-946-8020.

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