Join Jennifer Whitney to learn how asthma in the Sacramento valley is affected by pollution levels in the air we breathe.
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Female Speaker: At Breathe California of Sacramento Emigrant Trails, clean air and healthy lungs are their number one focus.
Kori Titus: We have some of the worst air quality in the nation. In fact every year if you look at the top 10 worst, usually 5 or 6 of them are cities that range up and down our valley. So certainly when it comes to the link between air pollution and asthma, we have a very challenging problem ahead of us. And it shows in the prevalence rates. In just in Sacramento County for young people, our prevalence of asthma is about 20%, where if you look at the entire state, it's about 18%.
Female Speaker: Exhaust fumes, traffic, smoking, refineries, there is no question air pollution is contributing to the growing incidence of asthma in our valley. Staying indoors during bad air days as much as possible is important.
Kori Titus: And the other thing that you can do, and I recommend for everybody to do, is sign up for the air alerts. You can get those through the Sacramento Metropolitan Air Quality Management District, you go to sparetheair.org and you will start getting alerts through your email, to your cell phone, to your pager however you want to receive that information.
Female Speaker: Education, that's the mission at Camp Arroyo in Livermore. It's an asthma camp for kids started by Al Brown.
Al Brown: You know, over 20 million people in the United States that have asthma, and lots of kids end up in the hospital.
Female Speaker: The camp is free of charge and offers swimming, horseback riding, and marshmallow rose.
Al Brown: The goal of the camp is to prevent emergency room visits and hospital stays. The goal is to try to get the child enough education to manage their asthma, it's sort of a preventative program.
Female Speaker: Learning to manage asthma returns a person quality of life.
Paul Duarte: The martial arts always has been a noble art.
Female Speaker: Given that Jameson is highly allergic to grasses, trees and pollen, Karate is an ideal art form for him because it's indoors.
Paul Duarte: It's about personal development, growing oneself.
Female Speaker: Remember just a few short weeks ago, Jameson was very sick and struggling with his asthma. With medications and rest, he's once again training.
Paul Duarte: Of course we're short-winded when we push ourselves but it's amazing to see how strong he has become as far as his respiratory system is.
Female Speaker: Jameson is learning to conquer his asthma with the spirit of a peaceful warrior.
Paul Duarte: He is a very self disciplined person but he comes to us because he wants guidance, he wants coaching, he wants to improve himself. I'm very pleased to have him as a student.
Jennifer Whitney: We have hundreds of beautiful days here in the valley, don't let a little pollen or asthma steal the moment. Educate yourself. And if you or a family member has asthma or you even suspect you might, seek medical help. After all, life is to be lived to the fullest.