For the most part, kids with exercise-induced asthma can do anything their peers can do – but be sure to follow the suggestions given by your child’s doctor.
Here are some of the tips often recommended:
- Warm up before exercise to prevent chest tightening. (Warm-up exercises can include 5 to 10 minutes of walking or any other light activity, in addition to stretching or flexibility exercises.)
- Take quick-relief medicine as close to the start of exercise as possible.
- Breathe through the nose during exercise.
- Take brief rests during exercise and use quick-relief medicine, as prescribed, if symptoms start.
- Cool down after exercise to help slow the change of air temperature in the lungs.
In addition, someone experiencing symptoms shouldn’t start exercising until the symptoms stop.
It’s also wise for kids with EIA to avoid exercising outside during very cold weather. If your child will be playing outside when it’s cold, wearing a ski mask or a scarf over the mouth and nose should help.
If air pollution or pollen also trigger asthma symptoms, your child may want to exercise indoors when air quality is poor, or pollen counts are high. And exercise should be avoided during any upper respiratory infection.
You can help by ensuring your child takes all medicine prescribed by the doctor, even on days when he or she feels fine. Skipping long-term control medicine can make symptoms worse, and forgetting to take quick-relief medicine before exercise can lead to severe flare-ups and even emergency department visits.
Kids should always have access to their quick-relief medicine. Keep extras on hand and be sure to regularly check all supplies so your child isn’t carrying around an empty inhaler.