Sports and Asthma

By Stevie 

You always hope that your child is perfectly  healthy and able to do anything life throws at them. My son is extremely healthy and active, however he does have asthma and this is something that has been quite a lot to deal with.

The first time he received a breathing treatment, he was only a month old. He was fine and didn’t have another incident until he was a year and a half old. Shortly thereafter, trips to the emergency room and overnight stays (sometimes multiple night stays) became more frequent. He eventually was fully diagnosed as being asthmatic and started seeing a specialist. In the little over a year since he saw a pulmonologist and was given a new treatment regimen, we thankfully have not had one hospital visit *knock on wood*.

Both indoor and outdoor conditions though can severely affect someone with asthma. There are a lot of different triggers for an asthma attack. Jordan’s seem to be breathing in cold air, humid air, and if he is already sick or his allergies are bothering him his symptoms are exacerbated.

This doesn’t necessarily work well with the conditions for playing sports, both summer and winter. During baseball season and 2 dek hockey seasons a year, I have to worry about humidity. With ice skating and ice hockey, it’s the cold air he is breathing in at the rinks coupled with fumes from zamboni machines and the air cooling system.

The key to all of this is managing Jordan’s condition and working with his doctors to make sure we have everything we need for him to remain an active kid. I don’t want his asthma to be something that hinders his ability to do the things he loves to do or wants to try. Prior to seeing a specialist, ice hockey was starting to look like it might not be an option for him. He always showed symptoms after being on the ice.

In addition to managing his health though, it is important for Jordan to know mentally that he can do this and that he can live a normal life, even if it means using an inhaler prior to and following an activity. The great thing about him developing asthma at such a young age is that he is used to it. He understands what his meds are for and what they do and knows when he has to use them and doesn’t resist. He probably doesn’t remember a time in his life when he didn’t need breathing treatments and inhalers because it has been just that long.

For him, there is no embarrassment when he takes a puff of his inhaler in front of the other kids and he is more than happy to explain to them what it is for when he gets looks or questions.

There are different serverities for asthma and many different treatment options. We’ve found options with Jordan’s doctor that are working wonders and making it possible for him to persue his love of hockey. Also, recognizing his limits is of utmost importance. Making sure I can see when he needs an extra puff or just needs to sit down and catch his breath is imperitive. As long as we always put his health first and the sport second (and even further down the list than second), he will be playing for a long time!


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