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It's difficult to understate how important physical activity is in childhood. Your child will go to gym in school and may want to play sports. And normally, that's a good thing – with childhood obesity on the rise, participating in sports and physical activities is the best possible thing for a child's health. However, if your child has asthma, you may be hesitant to allow them to fully participate. Asthma attacks in some children can be brought on by physical exertion, especially running.
How can you help your child participate in sports and physical activities and protect them from asthma attacks?
Choose Activities Carefully
Not all activities are equally strenuous for an asthmatic child. Running track in the heat of the summer may be out of the question for your child, but joining the swim team might be a great compromise. Swimming has been shown to be one of the aerobic exercises least likely to cause an asthma attack.
There are other sports that may work well for a child with asthma as well. Golf, volleyball, bowling, and martial arts are all good options for a child whose asthma is mostly under control.
Communicate With the Coaches
Whether your child is joining a team sport or just participating in gym class in school, you should have an open line of communication with the coach. Your child's coach should be aware of your child's medical condition and aware of their asthma triggers and the signs that an asthma attack is coming on.
You should also provide the coach with a written action plan that details exactly what to do if your child does have an asthma attack. Include emergency phone numbers for you and your pediatrician. Your child's doctor can help you write an effective action plan.
Consult the Doctor
Speaking of your child's doctor, he or she should definitely be included in the decision to increase your child's level of physical activity. Other than you and your child, there's no one else more familiar with the severity of your child's asthma and the best method of controlling it than the doctor who is treating it.
Your doctor may prescribe a bronchodilator for your child to take before exercising – these can reduce the risk of an asthma attack when taken before a physical activity. Your doctor will also make sure that your child has an active prescription for a fast-acting inhaler. The inhaler should be with your child at all times while they're participating in physical activity. Remember that every second counts during an asthma attack.
Asthma doesn't have to mean that your child can never participate in a sport, or in a physical activity that they enjoy. It just means that you'll have to take extra precautions depending on the severity of your child's condition. To learn more, contact a company like Partners in Pediatrics with any questions you have.Share