Does your child have asthma and you’re worried about him or her not getting enough physical activities? Let’s face it, whenever your child is having an asthma attack, it’s scary. So we, as parents, choose not to engage our asthmatic kids in sports or exercise. However, this trend is now changing and pediatricians now actually recommend that asthmatics undergo more exercise. Why is that?
Engaging asthmatic kids in exercise is recommended because:
- The more in shape your kids are, the better their lungs work.
- The better their lungs work, the fewer problems they should have with their asthma.
- The fewer problems they have with asthma, the better they’ll feel and more able to do.
However, some kids have asthma that is triggered only by physical activity, called exercise-induced asthma. Just as with other asthma triggers, a person who is triggered into an asthma attack by exercise has airways that narrow and tighten after they begin exercising. Fast, hard breathing, coughing, wheezing and a tight chest are signs of an asthma attack. An asthma attack can be very serious, and can even kill.
For these kids, we recommend consulting with a pediatrician first who may then prescribe an inhaler. The inhaler is used to treat acute asthma attacks, dilating the narrowed airways. If your kid has exercise-induced asthma, a regular active lifestyle may not be suitable for him or her.
So, for these kids with exercise-induced asthma, we recommend swimming, leisurely biking, and walking which are all less likely to trigger asthma attacks. If your kid can handle these activities without having an asthma attack, he or she can then try sports that involve short bursts of activity like baseball, football, gymnastics, and track and field.
Eventually, your kids’ exercise induced asthma will improve, and he can then enjoy regular activities and sports like long-distance running and cycling. Do make sure to bring your asthmatic kids to regular consults with a pediatrician too.