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Kids with asthma beating out summer attacks by educating themselves

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TYLER (KYTX) - Summer is a tough season for people with asthma, with the heat, sun, pollen, and outdoor activities. However, some local kids are taking control of their condition so they can still have a blast while school's out.

11-year-old Kyndal Anderson was diagnosed with asthma when she was born. 

"It kind of feels like there's something lodged in your throat and you can't get it out," she says. 

When she was younger she used to feel like she couldn't do things her friends could do.  

"Mostly run and hang out with other kids without them thinking I had some kind of disease," she says. 

Now, after a few years of asthma classes and camp, she has an entirely different attitude.

"You have total control over your asthma and you don't need someone making you feel bad cause you have it," she smiles. 

She's been going to asthma camp at Camp Tyler for three years now, where Dexter Jones with UT Health Northeast has worked for 22 years.  

"You just simply teach them to know how to be in control and recognize when they do have an onset of asthma," Jones says.

He says it's imperative that these kids learn what medications can help them control their asthma. In the morning they take a controller medication with their meal, and while they play they have a small bag around their necks at all times. Inside is a rescue inhaler which helps them during an emergency.

The kids also learn how to measure their lung capacity with a peak flow meter.  

They take a deep breath and blow into the device, which shows their lung capacity as green, yellow or red.

Kyndal's peak flow meter test registered in the yellow area, which means her lungs are getting tired and it's time to sit down and have some water.  The red area means she needs to tell an adult, and use her inhaler.

Knowledge about her condition curbs the panic, so now, she does everything the other kids do.

During the school year there is a mobile asthma clinic that goes to area schools and does asthma screenings for students.  Kids who are diagnosed get help managing it.  

For more information on asthma programs click here.  





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