Camp Breathe Easy program prepares kids for summer play

By Ava

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCIV) The school year will be ending shortly and at Camp Breathe Easy kids and parents are reminded asthma triggers are everywhere, even when they are playing in the park this summer.

"You would never know like when an asthma attack will come, so you better be prepared and carry your inhaler everywhere you go," said 12-year-old Alphonso Zanders.

Zanders said at camp he and other campers are also reminded of what can trigger an asthma attack. He said one of his triggers is cigarette smoke.

"People should not smoke inside our parks because you never know if someone really has bad asthma," said Zanders.

At day camp, parents are also encouraged to attend and ask questions during the information sessions. Asthma Educator Jakki Grimball said it's a basic course for parents of asthmatic kids.

"With vacation comes a lot of outdoor activity, lots of pollens in the atmosphere. There's grasses, trees, molds{}-- all [things] that they need to look out for. The kids are going to be spending a lot more time outside now that schools going to be dismissing," said Grimball.

Grimball said it's not hard to miss the symptoms of an episode.

"Wheezing, tightness in the chest, shortness of breath. A lot of children, before they have an asthma episode, they stop playing like they usually do," said Grimball. {}

The American Lung Association, one of the sponsors of the camp, make it possible for the families to attend the camp for free.

ALA Board Chairman Mitch Gilbert said the kids feel at ease at this camp.

"A lot of the children are very isolated because they feel that they're the only one with asthma and if they come to Camp Breathe Easy, they get to see other children who have their same life situation," said Gilbert.

Alphonso Zanders agreed.

"It's nice to like see somebody, who's going though the same things you are going through. It's somebody who's just like you," he said.{}

The ALA website shows that all spots for the 2013 Breathe Easy camp have been filled. For more information on the program, click here.