Asthma has not prevented some of the world's top athletes from performing in their field of expertise. Consider the following examples:
Olympic swimming medalist Amy van KykenKristi Yamaguchi - Olympic figure skating medalistAlex Zulle - Olympic cycling competitorBill Koch - Olympic skiing medalistGreg Louganis - Olympic diving medalistWhat Sports are Best for Asthmatic Children?
There is no reason why a child with asthma should not be able to get involved in sports. Benefits to health include better physical fitness, weight control, better overall health and sleep patterns and the benefits of teamwork. Sports can also help to strengthen an asthmatic child's breathing muscles which will help the air passages and lungs to function better.
Virtually all sports can be undertaken, although long distance running, marathons and long distance cycling will be more likely to bring on a coughing fit and/or tightness of the chest. Scuba diving should be avoided.
Examples of sports that a child may be able participate in could include:
swimmingleisurely bikingwalkingbaseballsoftballfootballgymnasticsgolfshort track and field eventsHow to Manage Asthma when Playing Sports
Asthma needs to be carefully managed in order for children to participate in sports. Follow directions and take medications as prescribed by a health professional. Generally, doctors recommend taking one to two puffs of an inhaler filled with a quick-acting bronchodilator such as albuterol or pirbuterol before exercising to prevent exercise induced asthma symptoms. No matter what medication a child takes beforehand, he or she should keep an inhaler handy when exercising and fully understand his or her condition.
Always inform the sports coach or teacher of the child's asthmatic condition. The child needs to slow down or stop if asthma symptoms flare up and should not feel embarrassed to ask to be excused if they do.
The asthmatic child should allow for plenty of time to warm up and cool down before strenuous activity and they should cover the face or exercise indoors in very cold weather.
Disclaimer: This article is meant for information purposes only. If a child has asthma, always consult a doctor and follow his or directions to manage the condition.
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Can Kids With Asthma Play Sports? Kathleen MacNaughton, About.com, information retrieved 16 March 2010.
Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, article Famous People with Asthma