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Is your Child’s Asthma Under Control?
(NC) One in five children in Ontario has asthma and for many, that means watching from the sidelines while their friends participate in sports and other physical activities. But asthma experts say there is no reason for a child with well-managed asthma to avoid playing sports and running around just like the other kids.
In fact, if asthma is interfering with the child's ability to play and be active, that is a strong signal that the asthma is not under control,â€ù said Carole Madeley, director of respiratory health programs with the Ontario Lung Association.
She said that parents can determine whether their child's asthma is being well managed by answering these simple questions. Does the child:
• Have to use a reliever inhaler (usually blue) more than three times a week?
• Have asthma symptoms more than three times a week?
• Ever have difficulty exercising or playing sports because of asthma?
• Wake up one or more nights a week because of asthma?
• Miss any school days because of asthma?
If the answer to any of these questions is 'yes', then the asthma is probably not under control and you should consult your health-care provider to see what needs to be done, said Madeley.
To avoid problems when playing sports or exercising, your child should warm up first and start slowly. Although most children with well-controlled asthma should not need to use a reliever inhaler before exercising, if it is needed it should be taken 10 to 15 minutes before the activity. If symptoms occur while playing, your child should stop, use a reliever inhaler and not start again until the symptoms are gone.
To help your child to stay active with asthma, order the free Asthma Active activity book by calling The Lung Association Lung Health Information Line at 1-888-344-LUNG (5864).