Asthma and Sports Factsheet (for Schools)enparents teachers and coaches need to know about student-athletes with asthma.asthma, school, coach, exercise-induced asthma, EIA, factsheets, teachers, bronchoconstriction, students with asthma, asthmatic students, exercise-induced bronchoconstriction, inhalers, rescue medicines, rescue inhaler, asthma triggers, CD1Asthma, CD1Pulmonology, CD1Allergy & Immunology, CD1Sports Medicine04/21/201407/15/202007/15/2020Elana Pearl Ben-Joseph, MD09/12/201772fe634a-ac89-451e-bcb5-961955daf9d3<h3>What Teachers and Coaches Should Know</h3> <p><a href="">Asthma</a> is a lung condition that causes breathing problems. Many kids and teens with asthma have symptoms when they participate in sports or exercise.</p> <p>When a person has asthma, two things happen inside the lungs:</p> <ol> <li>constriction: the tightening of the muscles surrounding the airways</li> <li>inflammation: the swelling and irritation of the airways</li> </ol> <p><img class="center" title="Art shows lungs with asthma and narrowed airways" src="" alt="Asthma Illustration" /></p> <p>Constriction and inflammation make the airways narrower, which may cause:</p> <ul> <li>wheezing</li> <li>coughing</li> <li>chest tightness</li> <li>shortness of breath</li> </ul> <p>When this happens, it's called an <strong>asthma flare-up</strong>.</p> <p>Students with asthma who exercise and play sports are more likely to have flare-ups. They also might:</p> <ul> <li>take daily asthma medicine using an inhaler, and need to take medicine during flare-ups</li> <li>take medicine before or during exercise</li> <li>need to take a break during exercise, practice, or games due to symptoms</li> <li>need to skip exercise, gym class, practice, or a game if a flare-up happens</li> </ul> <p>Even though exercise may trigger asthma symptoms, students with asthma benefit from being active and playing sports.</p> <p>But some sports may be better choices for people with asthma. Sports like baseball, golf, and shorter track and field events are less likely to trigger flare-ups. Endurance sports (like long-distance running and cycling) and those that require high-energy output without a lot of rest time (like soccer and basketball) can be more challenging for students with asthma. This is especially true for cold-weather sports, like cross-country skiing or ice hockey.</p> <h3>What Teachers and Coaches Can Do</h3> <p>Teachers and coaches should make sure that asthma is under control before students exercise or participate in sports. In other words, they shouldn't be having lots of flare-ups.</p> <p>Ways to help students avoid flare-ups include:</p> <ul> <li>reminding them to carry and use their inhalers before activity, if the doctor recommends it</li> <li>allowing for extended warm-ups and cool-downs during practices and games</li> <li>watching out for flare-up symptoms and knowing when students should take breaks</li> </ul> <p>Make sure your students with asthma have written instructions from their doctor (called an <strong>asthma action plan</strong>). This helps them prevent and manage flare-ups. You should know your students' asthma triggers and allow them to use their medicines when needed. If a student's symptoms don't improve or get worse after taking medicine, call the school nurse or 911.</p>
Asthma Action PlanUse this printable sheet to help reduce or prevent flare-ups and emergency department visits through day-to-day management of your child's asthma.
Asthma CenterVisit our Asthma Center for information and advice on managing and living with asthma.
Can Kids With Asthma Play Sports?Kids who have asthma can and do play sports. Find out how to do it safely in this article for kids.
Can Kids and Teens With Asthma Play Sports?Kids and teens who have asthma can and do play sports. But some activities are better than others - find out more.
Can People With Asthma Play Sports?Sports and exercise are a good idea for people with asthma. But some activities are better than others - find out more.
Exercise-Induced AsthmaSome people have asthma symptoms only during or after exercise. This is called exercise-induced asthma. Get some tips for coping with it in this article.
School and AsthmaLots of teens have asthma. Here are tips on keeping it under control so you can prevent (or manage) a flare-up at school.
What's an Asthma Action Plan?Find out how this written plan can help you care for your child with asthma.
kh:age-allAgesOrAgeAgnostickh:clinicalDesignation-pulmonologykh:genre-handoutkh:genre-teacherGuidekh:primaryClinicalDesignation-pulmonologyFactsheets Resources for Educators