As many as one in five New Brunswick children could have asthma. Asthma flare-ups are the number one reason that children visit the emergency room or miss school. The majority of children with asthma have allergies, and some have severe allergies to certain foods, medications, or other environmental triggers.
In 1980, the New Brunswick Lung Association piloted a summer camp experience for children with asthma with great success, and the program continues to date. “ Camp AsthmaTOPIA ” is a week-long integrated residential camp where children with asthma aged 8 to 11 can have a safe summer camp experience while learning skills that help them to better control their asthma
symptoms. The camp provides fun and interactive asthma education sessions along with the opportunity to participate in the
usual fun and games of a summer camp.
uring their week at camp, the children gain independence, improve their self-confidence, and learn that they can do all the same activities that their friends without asthma can do. Volunteer registered respiratory therapists and nurses provide asthma education, assist the children with their medications, and are available to deal with any asthma episodes. The camp medical advisor, a pediatric asthma specialist, is available by telephone for consultation about medical issues that may arise during camp.
Asthma camps have had a positive impact on the lives of many New Brunswick children over the years. Past participants have indicated that they had better asthma control in the year following camp attendance. Generous sponsorship by local businesses and individuals allows the New Brunswick Lung Association to provide Camp AsthmaTOPIA without camper fees so that no child is excluded due to financial reasons.
If you are a health care professional or student, and would like to volunteer with Camp AsthmaTOPIA , contact us at 1-800-565-LUNG (local 455-8961) or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.