Asthma is one of the most common conditions impacting children today. In fact, asthma accounts for a loss of more than 10 million school days and costs parents more than $700 million due to missed work each year.

Many parents worry about their children with asthma participating in exercise. As a result, these parents limit their children’s physical activity. The truth is, asthma diagnoses often are misunderstood. Having asthma should not keep children from exercising.

To better control asthma triggers, follow these steps:

  • Ask your child’s health care provider for an asthma action plan that will help you control your child’s asthma.
  • Teach your child use the proper medication to manage the condition.
  • Encourage and promote an active lifestyle.
  • Make sure your child exercises in a controlled environment (clean space or outdoors) and always has his or her asthma medication readily available.
  • Educate your child on what to do if an asthma attack occurs, so he or she knows how to react quickly.
  • Talk to your child’s health care provider if current medication is not helping and your child is having symptoms on a regular basis.

For fun ways to increase your child’s physical activity with controlled exercise, visit the Centers for Disease Control. Information for parents can be found at the National Heart Lung and Blood Institute.

~ Michele Polfuss, APNP, Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin

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