Healthy Hoops Helping Children with Asthma

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STROUDSBURG -- There's an event happening this weekend that aims to get the word out about kids and asthma.

Some doctors say asthma symptoms tend to get worse in the fall, likely because of the allergens out there, not to mention colds and flu.

But in the Poconos on Saturday, there's help.

Wheezing, coughing, sometimes being out of breath -- they're all symptoms of asthma, but they're also symptoms of a lot of other things.

Dr. Maureen George says it can be hard sometimes for parents to know the difference.

"It is really tricky because there are a lot of other things that look like asthma, or other illnesses a parent might think a child has when really it's asthma that's out of control," said Dr. George.

Dr. George is with AmeriHealth Caritas, the creator of the event. She wants people to know about a program coming to the Poconos on Saturday, October 1, called Healthy Hoops.

Healthy Hoops began in 2003, has been through six states, and has helped 10,000 children and their families, this time making a stop at the Pocono Family YMCA in Stroudsburg.

The three-part program starts with health screenings, then features parent education, and finishes with the fun part: a basketball camp with professional coaches. And it's all free.

"Take them through screenings and be able to talk to them about heart health, lung health, general exercise and nutrition needs. It's a really fabulous day for the family," said Dr. George.

If evidence of asthma is found, Dr. George says there are experts on hand to help kids and their families with what comes next, like how to use an inhaler, and general tips on how best to manage the chronic lung disease.

Since lunch and goodies will be given out, too, Dr. George says it's a fun way to get people to understand you don't have to sit out because of an asthma diagnosis.

Healthy Hoops
Amerihealth Caritas Partnership
Amerihealth Caritas Northeast
October 1, 2016
Pocono Family YMCA
809 Main Street
11:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.

Kids ages 5 -16 are eligible for Healthy Hoops. Dr. George says already 250 kids are signed up for Saturday, but walk-ins are welcome.

Pre-registration starts at 10:30 a.m. and because part of this is about medical history, it is required that an adult, preferably a parent or guardian, accompany the child.