Children with Asthma: Can They Run Track and Be Athletes?

children running

An asthma diagnosis can be frightening for any family, but it can be terrifying for families with children who participate in sports. Is it possible for my child to participate in sports at all? What can I do to help prevent attacks if they can? In the event of an attack, what supplies should they have on hand for children’s urgent care?

Continue reading to find out the answers to your questions.

Can Asthmatic Children Participate in Track & Field?

The short answer is: yes! Asthmatic children can be athletes as long as their asthma is managed and controlled. They can keep fit and maintain a healthy weight by being active, working out, and playing sports. It can also help their lungs perform better by strengthening their breathing muscles.

The longer answer is that your child’s doctor should always give them the green light before signing up for track and field. Every case is different, and while exercise is encouraged in nearly every patient, some may require different types of care than others.

What Role Can Sports Play in Asthma Treatment?

Even if you don’t aspire to be a professional athlete, exercising and participating in sports is beneficial. Sports keep you in shape. They assist you in maintaining a healthy weight. Exercise also helps to strengthen the muscles in your chest that control your breathing. This is especially important if you have asthma because it can help your lungs function better.

Sport has many emotional benefits as well: Exercising enables the body to release endorphins, which are substances that make people feel calmer and happier. Some people find that exercising helps them sleep better. It can also help with sadness since people who feel strong have a more positive perception of themselves.

What Can You Do to Control Your Child’s Asthma?

Asthmatic children can ultimately engage in track and field if they have a plan for managing their symptoms. In reality, anecdotal evidence suggests that participation in sports like track and field is advantageous, far more than being dangerous.

Here are the essentials for properly treating asthma while competing in track & field events:

Obtain a Doctor’s Approval

Before training or competing in track and field, a youngster with asthma should absolutely, positively seek medical counsel and consent. A doctor will:

  • Determine whether or not the youngster is fit to participate;
  • Explain how to keep an eye on the child to make sure she’s coping well with the training and contests;
  • Assist the parent in recognizing when the child requires a break or a change in medication to manage symptoms;
  • Work together to develop an asthma management strategy (e.g., when and how to deliver medicine in an emergency); and
  • Establish regular follow-up appointments to ensure that your asthma is still under control.

Begin Working on Your Plan

Doctors frequently advise patients to start jogging or running on their own before joining a sport to gain a sense of their asthma control and limitations.

Keep a Fast-Acting Inhaler On Hand at All Times

Have your child store a fast-acting inhaler in their workout bag or with the track shoes they wear at the track. Make sure the coaches are aware of this.

Inform Coaches of Your Kid’s Asthma

Make sure your child’s coaches and trainers are aware of their symptoms and triggers. Coaches who have never had asthma may not realize that wheezing and shortness of breath aren’t the only indications of the disease; coughing can also indicate that asthma isn’t under control.

Make Sure You’re Ready to Make Changes

On the field, asthmatics who are well-managed should be indistinguishable from their counterparts. However, limits may exist until optimal control is achieved. Whatever your child’s asthma triggers are, such as cold weather or a cold, be prepared to keep her out of the gym or reduce the intensity of the workout to avoid inflaming her asthma.

What’s Waiting for Your Athletic Kids?

People with asthma can play sports, and they can be pretty good at them if they stick to their asthma action plan. With your guidance and coaching, your kids will be on their way to becoming professional athletes.

If you need urgent care for children, look no further than Your Kids Urgent Care! Schedule an appointment today, and we will provide you with a plan to better manage your children’s asthma. In that way, they can play the sports they always wanted to play.

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