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Exercise and Asthma

Three Important Steps

If your child feels like his symptoms are getting worse, he should know to stop right away and:

  1. Tell an adult
  2. Take his quick relief medicine
  3. Sit down, relax, and catch his breath

Exercise to Stay Healthy

photo of child exercising to show example of physical activity

With a few precautions, your child can run, play, and stay active.

Kids are kids, whether or not they have asthma. They want to run and jump and play with their friends. It’s as if they naturally know that it’s the best way to stay healthy, and they’re right. Staying physically active is an important part of having a healthy lifestyle, just like eating healthy foods and getting enough sleep. And being active is especially good for children who have asthma, because it helps keep their lungs healthy and strong.

But, physical activities can get scary when they trigger asthma symptoms. If exercise, hard play, or participating in sports is a trigger for your child, there are things you can do to prevent that from happening.

  • Talk to your health care provider. He may recommend a quick-relief medicine your child should take before she exercises. The amount of medicine to take and how soon to take it before exercising should be written in your child’s Asthma Action Plan.
  • Have your child do warm-up activities. It doesn’t have to take long, just five to ten minutes before a game or exercise session should be an adequate warm up. Have him start slowly and gradually increase his level of activity. He might just walk around or toss a ball with a friend to get ready.
  • Stop right away if symptoms appear or get worse. Your child should know how to identify her asthma symptoms and should know to stop right away. Teach her how to follow the Three Important Steps if she has warning signs or feels her symptoms getting worse.

Most important, your child should be able to have fun and be a kid, and still have asthma! It’s just a matter of taking some precautions.

Asthma Triggers
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Learn how controlling triggers can reduce your child’s asthma symptoms.

Asthma Action Plan
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Use this convenient form to help manage your child’s asthma.

Medicine Quiz
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Take this quiz to get answers about your child's asthma medicines.