Can kids with breathing deficiencies still be active?
Asthma, shortness of breath, chest tightness and other uncomfortable breathing situations are common respiratory problems among children.
Dr. Shimoni Dharia, pediatric pulmonologist with Advocate Medical Group in Oak Lawn, Ill., says there are ways for children to adapt to their breathing problems so that they can live to their fullest potential.
With kids engaging in athletics in school and after-school recreational activities on a daily basis, some may wonder if they can still participate. Dr. Dharia says exercise is still important for kids with breathing issues and there are ways to aide those who need assistance.
“Even children with chronic disorders can still exercise at certain levels,” Dr. Dharia says. “We can help set short term goals and ways to achieve them.”
Kids may need to get creative when it comes to choosing activities.
“Some children may have to move from traditional activity to non-traditional activities,” Dr. Dharia says. “Some may need additional support such as oxygen while exercising. Essentially, for children who want to exercise, there are unique ways to help accomplish those wishes.”
When evaluating children with pulmonary problems that are involved in athletics, Dr. Dharia says that she first seeks the reason for their shortness of breath with exertion.
“For children with asthma, there are medications, such as Albuterol, that can be used for pre-treatment in patients with asthma” Dr. Dharia says. “I strongly discourage any of my patients to stop exercising unless there is a compelling reason not to.”
Dr. Dharia also says that for kids with asthma, exercise may actually help the lungs. It should be a part of every child’s healthy lifestyle, she says.
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