How to Play Sports and Stay Active
Kids often have asthma attacks on the soccer field or playground because they're breathing heavily, which can lead to constriction of the airways. However, it's still important for children with asthma to exercise. Exercise reduces symptoms in the long run because it improves physical fitness and can help prevent obesity, says Carlos A. Camargo, MD, DrPH, associate professor of medicine and epidemiology at Harvard Medical School. To keep active kids symptom-free, follow these rules.
Every day: Use a controller medication like inhaled corticosteroids to make lungs less reactive to heavy breathing, allergens, and irritants.
When joining a team or class: Check with teachers or coaches to make sure your child is allowed to carry his bronchodilator inhaler.
Before exercising: Have your child use his inhaler to relax airways 15 to 30 minutes ahead of a game, practice, or gym class. This step prevents 80 percent of exercise-induced asthma attacks.
In the cold: Chilly air can make asthma symptoms worse, so cover your child's mouth with a mask or a scarf.