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Asthma and Exercise

Father and son playing basketball Father and son playing basketball
Asthma should not stop your child from exercising. All children should play and stay active. Your child can exercise if your child’s asthma is under control.

Minimizing asthma symptoms

Exercise can make some children’s asthma worse. There are things your child can do to minimize asthma symptoms:

  • Make sure your child is taking regular asthma controller medicines.
  • Make sure your child warms up before and cools off after exercise.
  • Your doctor may tell your child to take a reliever medicine 15 to 20 minutes before exercising. This will help to prevent asthma symptoms.
  • If your child has asthma symptoms during exercise, he should take breaks and exercise for short periods.
  • If your child has severe asthma symptoms, such as coughing and wheezing, he should stop exercising and follow his asthma action plan.
  • Your child should wear a scarf to cover the nose and mouth when exercising outdoors in cold weather.
  • Some children should not exercise outdoors when it is very hot or humid, or when the air pollution or pollen index is high.
  • Your child should not exercise outdoors when it is very hot or humid, or when the air pollution or pollen index is high.
  • Remember your child’s airway may be swollen and inflamed after an asthma episode. Give your child time to return to normal before starting exercise again.

Sharon Dell, BEng, MD, FRCPC

Bonnie Fleming-Carroll, MN, ACNP, CAE

Jennifer Leaist, RN, BScN

Rishita Peterson, RN, BScN, MN

Gurjit Sangha, RN, MN

James Tjon, BScPhm, PharmD, RPh

1/29/2009




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