Should Your Child Play A Sport If They Have Asthma?

Posted on: 26 March 2019

If your child has recently been diagnosed as asthmatic, then you'll be learning how to manage their condition. As well as learning about their medications, you may also have to adapt to how asthma affects their life. As a parent, you want your child to be safe and well. You may worry about them playing sports now that they have a diagnosis. How does exercise affect children with asthma and is it safe for your child to play sports now?

How Exercise Affects Asthma

Children with asthma may find that exercise and sports bring on symptoms or even full-blown asthma attacks. This is often called exercise-induced asthma. While some people are affected as they exercise, this often happens when the exercise stops. Generally, the effort that your child puts into exercising or playing a sport makes them breathe more heavily. Once they stop and get back into a resting state, their airways may be affected. This can bring on their asthma.

However, exercise can also help your child deal with their asthma in some ways. For example, playing sports regularly helps your child's lungs work more effectively. They are likely to get more stamina which makes their breathing easier. On a general level, playing sport also helps your child's overall fitness and health. A fit child may be less likely to get viral infections like colds which could trigger asthma symptoms.

Exercise also helps control your child's weight. It is thought that children who keep their weight at healthier levels may have fewer problems with their asthma

How to Manage Asthma When Your Child Plays Sports

Generally, the benefits of playing sports outweigh the negatives here. Unless your doctor recommends that your child shouldn't participate in a type of exercise, then this may be a good idea. However, you should talk to your doctor before your child starts to play sports again. They may need some extra help to manage their asthma when they exercise.

For example, your doctor may recommend that your child uses their preventative inhaler or medication before they play sport or take exercise. They will also be told to have their regular inhaler with them so that they can use it if they need to either during or after exercising. If your child has an action plan, then your doctor may want to amend this to include guidance on how to manage your child's asthma before, during and after exercise. To find out more, make an appointment at a medical clinic to discuss the next steps. 


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