BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - How can a relay race help prevent asthma attacks? When it's part of an educational summer camp. According to the Centers for Disease Control, asthma affects nearly 7 million kids nationwide.
In Baton Rouge, a city that is known for being plentiful in both asthma and allergy triggers, doctors realized that more needed to be done to help local asthma sufferers find relief.
"We realized that our community needs to do a better control of asthma. We have a lot of children who come into the hospital in either the Emergency Room or the hospital setting for asthma," said intermediate Director of Our Lady of the Lake Children's Hospital Dr. Shaun Kemmerly.
With the help of BREC, the Children's Hospital decided to create an Asthma Camp for kids who suffer from the disease. For a week, kids participate in fun activates that also educate them about their disease, how to prevent attacks and medication.
"We're getting kids to recognize what symptoms mean getting asthma," said Kemmerly. "What are the types of things that trigger asthma attacks? They can recognize it and avoid it."
All of the volunteers are specially trained in asthma education. They also help kids come up with an emergency plan so they can be prepared for a severe attack.
Organizers hope that one week of asthma-themed games and activities will give these kids the lifelong tools they need to prevent and reduce attacks.
"Hopefully, we prevent more frequent asthma attacks and we decrease emergency room visits. We decrease hospitalizations and overall improve lung function for kids as they grow into adults," said Kemmerly.
Parents also receive helpful information on managing their child's asthma. This is the first Asthma Camp the hospital has hosted, but they hope to hold more.