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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.

Adult and two children playing soccer
Kids with asthma need to exercise every day to stay healthy and fit.

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

  • If your child takes quick-relief medication 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 5–10 minutes before exercise. This reduces the chance of a flare-up. And, make sure your child always cools down for 3–5 minutes after exercise.

  • Talk to your child’s physical education or gym teacher or coach. Explain when and how your child should take asthma medications. 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.

Online Medical Reviewer: Holloway, Beth, RN, M.Ed.
Online Medical Reviewer: MMI board-certified, academically-affiliated clinician
Last Review Date: 6/20/2014
© 2000-2014 The StayWell Company, LLC. 780 Township Line Road, Yardley, PA 19067. All rights reserved. This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical care. Always follow your healthcare professional's instructions.