EL CENTRO — Imperial Valley Child Asthma Program (IVCAP) is hosting the first annual Asthma Boot Camp for children 8 to 16 years of age who suffer from asthma, according to an ECRMC press release. The indoor camp will be held on Sunday, May 19 from 8 a.m. – 1 p.m. at the ECRMC Community Education Center located inside of the Imperial Valley Mall, next to the food court.
The Asthma Boot Camp will bring together Imperial County children who have been diagnosed with asthma and will include interactive group sessions focusing on how to manage the disease, the importance of proper nutrition and exercise, first aid, and how to effectively identify and treat an asthma attack.
The hope is that after participation in the boot camp, children will:
· Gain important knowledge and skills to better control their asthma
· Feel more confident in using asthma-related medications and equipment
· Understand the importance of early recognition and treatment during an asthma attack
· Understand the role of nutrition and exercise in leading a healthy lifestyle
The release said that asthma is a chronic but manageable disease that causes narrowing of the airway, making breathing difficult at times. More than 22 million people in the United States have asthma, including 6.5 million children under the age of 18, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Without appropriate treatment, asthma can significantly limit the ability of the individual to participate in normal life activities. If left uncontrolled, asthmatics could experience an acute “attack” which can lead to hospitalization and even death. The CDC estimates that 4,000 Americans die from asthma exacerbations each year.
“The goal of the event is to increase asthma self-management skills of school-age children who suffer from this condition and are unable to maintain control of their asthma. Asthma is one of the most common health problems in Imperial County and it can significantly affect patients' lives — at school, at work, at play, and at home,” said Aide Fulton, RN and program director of IVCAP, in the release. “It is essential for asthmatic children to understand their disease and know when they need to get help. Asthmatics benefit from these types of trainings, such as the asthma boot camp, by learning to better manage their disease, which in turn, leads to a better quality of life.”
Unfortunately, the Imperial Valley is recognized as an area with a significant disease burden with asthma-related emergency department visits and hospitalizations being twice as high than the state’s reported averages. Working in collaboration with IVCAP, representatives from the Department of Public Health’s Nutrition Program, Norco Fire Department Chief, and IV Mall Fitness will be on hand to help boot camp participants take back control of their disease. Interested children are encouraged to register as soon as possible.
The IVCAP is funded by the Imperial County Children and Families First Commission and other grants and operated by El Centro Regional Medical Center (leading agency). For more information and to register for the Asthma Boot Camp call (760)-482-0978. Limited spaces are available.