How to Manage Asthma on the Field

Dec 12, 2023
How to Manage Asthma on the Field
Managing asthma can be challenging, especially in active kids who love sports and outdoor activities. But, with the right strategies and preparation, children with asthma can enjoy all the benefits of an outdoor sport. We can help with that.

The coughing, wheezing, and chest tightness accompanying an asthma attack affect millions of children in the United States. However, while it’s a chronic condition, you can manage childhood asthma, even on the field, with routine care and a few practical guidelines.

Our team here at Garland Pediatric Practice in Garland, Texas, led by Phani Bodavula, MD, provides outstanding pediatric services from infancy through adolescence. Diagnosing and treating asthma is one of our specialties.

Read these tips from our Garland Pediatric team about managing childhood asthma, especially during sports and outdoor activities.

Understanding pediatric asthma

Asthma is a respiratory condition characterized by inflammation of the airways, leading to symptoms such as:

  • A whistling or wheezing sound when exhaling
  • Coughing or wheezing that worsens with a cold or the flu
  • Shortness of breath
  • Chest congestion
  • Worsening symptoms with exercise that may disrupt play or sports
  • Difficulty sleeping due to coughing or shortness of breath

Additionally, children with asthma often experience delayed recovery or develop bronchitis after a cold or respiratory illness.

Tips for managing childhood asthma

Try incorporating these strategies to successfully manage childhood asthma and minimize its impact on game day:

1. Start with a medical evaluation

Schedule an appointment with Dr. Bodavula for a thorough asthma evaluation if you suspect your child may have asthma. If your child’s current treatment isn’t all you thought it would be, we’re also happy to assess their asthma control.

Bring a list of symptoms, suspected triggers, and questions or concerns to review with Dr. Bodavula. Once your child begins asthma treatment, following guidelines carefully and reporting any issues to our office is essential.

Additionally, our team provides education regarding asthma, potential triggers, and symptoms that are sometimes confused with other illnesses. 

For instance, asthma triggers include pollen, exercise, and respiratory infections. We can help you identify patterns that indicate your child might be experiencing asthma along with a cold.

 2. Follow the asthma action plan

Asthma treatment depends on several factors, including your child’s age, the severity of the condition, and symptoms.

For instance, asthma driven by allergies may require daily asthma medicine, a fast-acting inhaler for an unexpected attack, and allergy care. Exercise-induced asthma may require pretreatment before training or a game.

Customized to fit your child’s needs, an asthma action plan outlines symptoms to watch for and step-by-step instructions for daily treatment and how to handle an asthma attack.

Ensure you and your child understand the plan and how to implement the steps, including monitoring their symptoms, taking their daily medicines, and using a rescue inhaler at the first sign of symptoms, even in the middle of a game.

3. Inform your child

Be sure your child has a broad, age-appropriate understanding of asthma and how to implement therapy. Educate your child about recognizing asthma symptoms and the importance of reporting and treating them promptly.

For instance, ensure they understand how, when, and why to use their quick-acting (rescue) inhaler. Make it a priority to keep the inhaler on hand throughout the day during home, school, and sports activities.

4. Stay safe on the field

Keep an open line of communication with coaches and team staff about your child's asthma. Provide emergency contact information and ensure they know the asthma action plan and how to respond in an emergency.

We work with you and your child to develop a comprehensive strategy that coaches, teachers, and caregivers can implement to protect your child’s respiratory health before, during, and after an asthma attack.

Schedule an evaluation with Dr. Bodavula at Garland Pediatric Practice today by calling the office or requesting an appointment online.