My Child's Asthma Gets Worse With Exercise. Should I Keep Him/Her From Participating In Physical Activity?

Question: My child's asthma gets worse with exercise. Should I keep him/her from participating in physical activity?

Answer: We're real clear with parents who have children with exercise-induced asthma that that is not a reason for them not to participate in sports. In fact, if you look at the number of Olympic athletes that have to take medicine for exercise-induced asthma, it's quite high. And so, the great thing about exercise-induced asthma is that it's very treatable. And so, if we can get folks to control their regular asthma with controller medicines and other methods, but then have them take the bronchodilators 20 to 30 minutes before exercise -- and I'm talking about albuterol and the meter dose inhalers that patients take -- if you can do that 20 to 30 minutes before you exercise, most of the time that will prevent any exercise-induced asthma. And we really make a big deal about that.

A lot of folks will wait until halftime -- or wait until they participate, until they get symptoms -- and then take the medicine. And we really are big on having them do that beforehand so that they don't have symptoms when they exercise.

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