Children's Hospital at Strong to host Asthma Fun Fair

More than 100 children are expected to attend the annual event

October 15, 1999

It's no fun for children to have asthma, but it can be fun for them to learn valuable information about their condition.

In an effort to teach youngsters and their families about asthma in an engaging fashion, Children's Hospital at Strong is hosting its fourth annual Asthma Fun Fair from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 16.

"It's an interactive experience for kids, and an opportunity for them to learn in a more hands-on way about their asthma, says Sue Bezek, the pediatric nurse practitioner who is organizing the event.

Nearly 5 million U.S. children have asthma, making it the most common chronic illness in children. The goal of the Asthma Fun Fair is to raise awareness about asthma, and educate children about how their condition can be successfully managed.

Children will play a number of games, including a memory game that teaches them to recognize what might trigger an asthma attack, like smoke, dust, paint fumes, and cold temperatures.

In addition, each child will be given a doll that stands more than a foot tall. As members of the medical staff from Children's Hospital at Strong explain how asthma affects the respiratory system, children are encouraged to draw features on the doll, like a face and lungs. This activity keeps the child interested as he or she learns about asthma.

"Most families stay for a couple of hours," Bezek says, adding that each child will be offered a flu shot, which is important because the flu is a respiratory illness and patients with asthma tend to develop more severe cases. "Patients - and their parents - who attend this event find it to be a very enjoyable and educational."

The Asthma Fun Fair is only for Children's Hospital at Strong patients.

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