When I tell people I have asthma, most of them assume that I cannot do certain things in life because of the asthma. This couldn’t be further from the truth.
Your child is no different in this regard either. Your child’s asthma need not be the limiting factor to what sports or activities your child can play. The difference between your child with asthma and a child without asthma is that your child just needs to do some extra prep. work. The activities in question, as well as your child’s asthma triggers, are what defines “extra”.
If your child’s asthma is triggered by factors within two or more of the trigger categories and not just one then you need to take that into account when defining your prep. work.
For instance, if your child’s asthma is triggered by both exercise and environmental factors then it will be easier to have an asthma attack exercising outdoors versus indoors. Likewise if your child’s asthma is triggered by allergens then it will be easier to have an attack during seasonal changes in the weather as well as the pollination during the spring.
I’m going to outline all the sports that I played as a child with asthma, and how my asthma affected my ability to play the sport.
My asthma was only a factor in baseball when there was a significant amount of pollen in the air, or someone in the bleachers was smoking cigarettes. The sport itself wasn’t a reason to kick off my asthma due to all the down time with this sport.
The only year of football I played where my asthma was a concern was the year I played for a coach who for whatever reason thought having football players perform 1-2 mile timed runs was valuable training for football (*rolls eyes*). These competitive long distance runs triggered my asthma way more often than the high number of sprints we had to do before.
Lacrosse, Roller Hockey, Basketball and Soccer:
These sports affected me in the same way. My asthma was hit or miss with both of these sports mostly due to the extensive running, but I was fine to play the indoor versions of all three sports.
Easily the best sport all around for my asthma. I never had to use my inhaler for preventative treatment or for treating an asthma attack. BUT when I first starting playing this sport the cold atmosphere did cause me some difficulties. Too bad this sport is so expensive to play.
One thing I do want to note about my experiences: I did all of these sports in a dry climate and in high elevation (Colorado) where it is already harder to breathe with or without asthma. People at lower elevations don’t have to account for this, but they do have to account for humidity levels as those are another contributing environmental trigger.
To conclude let me answer the title question directly – what sports can my child with asthma play?
ANSWER = ALL OF THEM.
Don’t deny your child the opportunity to play any sport, or prevent them from any activity just because of their asthma. But please, do be prepared, be informed, and be aware.
And feel free to leave any comments, questions or concerns in the comments below.