What are asthma and a ‘trigger’?
Asthma is a chronic disease condition affecting the airways and would precipitate restrictions in airflow towards the lungs as well as to the outside environment. The underlying pathology would be the constriction of smooth muscles in the walls of the air passages and thus narrowing of these tubes. Such narrowing can be triggered by various stimuli and these are known as ‘trigger factors’ for an asthma attack.
What is ‘exercise induced asthma’?
When considering triggers of an asthma attack, exercises can be considered as a one major contributor. Certain children as well as adults can show signs of airway narrowing following an exercise regime or else a sporting activity. Such instances are likely to cause parental anxiety and probably make them restrict these children and deprive them from playful fun. Therefore, understanding what causes exercise induced asthma? How can it be prevented? And what are the best sports to be undertaken by a susceptible child, which will alleviate the parental anxiety as well as allow the child to undertake much needed physical activities which will determine many aspects of a child’s development?
How does exercise induced asthma take place?
It should be understood that, the occurrence of an exercise induced asthma attack takes place at times of airway inflammation. Thus, if the asthma symptoms and the underlying inflammatory events are under control, the likelihood of a child developing exercise induced asthma would be minimal. In certain instances, environmental pollution as well as extreme climates would make the airways irritable and thus lead to an asthmatic attack. In other instances, when a child engages in sports activities which needs sustained exertion for a prolonged duration of time, it can also precipitate an asthmatic attack. It should also be remembered that, the sudden exposure to climate conditions or to heavy exertion can precipitate a asthma attack when comparing with a gradual exposure towards a physical activity.
What sports would be better?
Therefore, in order to prevent such asthma attacks, a child should engage in sports activities which do not require prolonged and sustained efforts such as in baseball, softball, golfing, martial arts, sprinting as well as weightlifting and gymnastics.
Can swimming be recommended for asthmatic children?
Yes, the basis for this would be, even though it is considered as a strenuous event, the surrounding environment in a pool will have enough humidity as well as temperature to avoid triggering a asthmatic attack in susceptible individuals. At the same time, these exercises will help in developing the lung capacity to sustain more volume and thus reacting more effectively to such trigger factors.
What other measures are needed to be taken to prevent an asthma attack?
Children who are susceptible in developing such exercise induced asthma need to be controlled of their symptoms in order to engage them in sports activities. Thus, undertaking a treatment regime to safeguard a child from asthma would be immensely important. Apart from these, susceptible children needs to undertake at least 15 minutes of warming up and warming down before and after each session. Taking breaks would also be important in continuing type of sporting activities. Prior to engaging in exercise activities, making sure the environment does not pose a threat of being a trigger should also be assessed.
Lastly, in order to implement such guidelines in engaging these children in sports activities, the collaboration of teachers, coaches as well as other students would be required. Thus, informing them about the child’s condition and making them aware of danger signs as well as what should and should not be done is as important as following a treatment plan.