Can Your Child with Asthma Play Sports?

With Spring comes asthma season in our house! It starts with the little one coughing and my oldest soon follows. We have been dealing with asthma since my oldest was little, so I feel like we have this asthma-thing under control. In fact, they are both pretty good sports when it comes to controlling their own asthma.

Asthma is a respiratory condition that can lead to great trouble breathing. This makes things difficult for a young person who has a lot of energy to burn. Whether your child has had asthma for a long time or is newly diagnosed, you may wonder if sports will ever be in your child’s future. 

Even though your child may have asthma, exercise is still full of health benefits such as keeping fit. It can also help your child’s breathing muscles and lungs to grow stronger. Though there are things to consider, the answer is a resounding “yes.” Here are some things to keep in mind. And, as with anything, make sure you discuss with our doctor beforehand.

Get Asthma under Control First

If your child’s asthma has been causing more problems than usual, or he (or she) has been newly diagnosed with asthma, learn more about his unique situation before beginning any new sport. You will want to make sure to have the correct treatments prescribed and available, and have a plan of action waiting just in case it is necessary to use it. Always use caution when you are on a learning curve about your child’s asthma. Be sure not to throw a new factor into the mix, such as a sport they have never tried before.

Take Precautions

When your child plays sports, be sure to always have her medication or treatment on hand. Be ready with the knowledge of what you would do should the asthma flare while your child participates in the sport. Make sure your child is hydrated, as this keeps the respiratory tract secretions more fluid.

Ensure that your child knows what to do in case he feels an asthma attack coming on. Notify any adults involved with your child’s team or lessons that your child is asthmatic, and ask them to be vigilant about noticing any symptoms that may occur. Give your child’s coaches or sports leaders your phone number should they need to contact you.

Pinpoint the Triggers

If there are certain allergens that trigger your child's asthma, try to clear their environment of these things before your child participates in their sport of choice. Check out the location they will be practicing and playing at in order to confirm whether it is safe from substances that could provoke an asthma attack. Because so many things can trigger an asthma attack, you can never be too cautious.

Exercise Benefits Individuals with Asthma

The important thing to keep in mind is that exercise is a good and healthy thing for almost every person, including someone with asthma. Even if your child deals with this condition and has to be vigilant about his safety while participating, he should still be allowed to take part in sports – and be encouraged to.

Exercise is as beneficial for your child as for any other, and will help her stay fit and provide emotional and physical health. Exercise is in fact especially important for an asthmatic child, as it is known to assist their lungs in working better, and will strengthen their breathing muscles.

Playing sports is a big part of many children’s lives. It has many benefits that will bring them success throughout life. Take the necessary precautions, but encourage your child to find a sport that suits her and to become involved. It will be a great source of joy for you both.

Stephanie Glover is a Collegeville, PA mom of two. This post was adopted from her blog, A Grande Life.

Categories: MomSpeak