More than 75% of children with asthma were unprepared for an exercise-induced bronchospasm (EIB) event, or asthma attack, according to a recent study.
Since exercise can be a trigger for asthma attacks and inhalers are the best treatment, the researchers stressed that it’s critical inhalers be available during physical activity.
In the study, published in a recent issue of Annals of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology, 579 children 12 years old and younger were surveyed on the playing field. Of the 80 who had been diagnosed with asthma, only 22 percent had their inhalers with them.
“Inhaler availability among children with asthma who participate in organized sports is suboptimal,” said Gilbert E. D’Alonzo, Jr., D.O., F.C.C.P., professor of medicine in the division of pulmonary critical care at Temple University School of Medicine and Temple University Hospital, who collaborated on the study with colleagues at the University of Colorado and Drexel University. “Without adequate preparedness and control for possible exercise-induced asthma attacks, children will not be able to play to their potential. Furthermore, uncontrolled attacks could affect their desire to engage in play and organized sports at all.”
Asthma is one of the most common chronic diseases in children, affecting at least 4.8 million in the United States. Although physical activity is an essential ingredient for healthy development, it can trigger asthma attacks in susceptible children. The researchers suggested that future study focus on why such a large percentage of asthmatic children were unprepared on the playing fields.