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Your Child's Asthma: Encouraging Exercise

Your child needs exercise to be healthy and fit. So don’t let fear of an asthma flare-up keep your child from being active. Many professional and Olympic athletes have asthma. They are able to perform because their asthma is under control. The same is true for your child.

Man and two boys playing soccer.

What kind of exercise?

Kids with asthma can play baseball, basketball, soccer, or football. They can swim, run cross-country, or do gymnastics. In fact, a child with asthma can take part in any sport.

Making exercise safer

Tips for safer exercise include the following:

  • If your child takes quick-relief medicine before exercise, make sure he or she always carries it and knows when and how to take it.

  • Teach your child to warm up for 5 to 10 minutes before exercise. This reduces the chance of a flare-up. And, make sure your child always cools down for 3 to 5 minutes after exercise.

  • Talk to your child’s physical education or gym teacher or coach. Explain when and how your child should take asthma medicines. Also explain the importance of warming up. This person should know the symptoms of an asthma flare-up and what to do about it.

  • Your child may need to avoid exercising outside on certain days. Watch for high levels of air pollution, dry air and wind, very cold air, or high levels of pollen.


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