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Summer Camps for Health Conditions – Asthma, Burn, Diabetes, etc.

Summer may be all about travel or camp, but it’s also an ideal time for your child learn to deal with a chronic health condition with help from experts as well as peers who share the diagnosis.

Children’s Health System of Alabama is instrumental in coordinating several condition-specific camps for kids that have life-altering conditions or diseases. The camps are designed to teach your child the coping and disease management skills they need in a relaxed setting – not the usual doctor’s office – with a fun, camp-like structure.  Because everyone at camp is living with the same or similar condition, it is no longer the elephant in the room that makes friends and field-trip chaperones nervous. Your kid is like everyone else there, so he can essentially “forget” about his condition at the same time he is focusing on it.

If you parent a child with a chronic condition, you know what a lonely experience it is for her to feel she must carry a silent burden, always having medicine or instructions on hand in case of an emergency.

You probably know the considerable stress of  looking out for a child who will live with a condition such as diabetes or asthma for the rest of her life. Perhaps you feel like the old nag, constantly checking in with your child over reminders, taking her to appointments, and communicating with the school nurse. Take a break from your (necessary) “nag” persona and let other kids share coping strategies during camp. After all, won’t your kid eagerly take advice from anyone except you?

Learn more about these camps from the Children’s Hospital website. If you or a kid you know deals with any of these conditions, it’s worth making them aware that there is a resource available to them in addition to their doctor.

Asthma – Reach Your Peak Asthma Day Camp for children ages 5 – 11 will be June 20 and 21, 2013, from 8:30 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. at McWane Science Center. The cost of the camp is $5 – not a typo, FIVE DOLLARS – and Terri McGruder, director of the pediatric asthma program at Children’s, will also offer an education session for parents. Obviously this is a great opportunity for you to meet and compare notes with other parents. Call 205-638-5743.

Burn – Camp Conquest is a four day, three night camp for children who have been patients at Childrens’ Burn Center during the past year. There is no charge for the camp, held at Children’s Harbor in Alexander City from June 17 through June 20, 2013. The camp is staffed by a team of experts who provide the kids with opportunities to enjoy typical camp activities (boating, canoeing, fishing, basketball, etc.) in a non-competitive environment where their burn recovery isn’t anything unusual.  Call 205-638-9398 or email campconquest@childrensal.org.