Actions for Physical Education Teachers and Coaches
- Appreciate that exercise can cause acute episodes for many students with
asthma. Exercise in cold dry air and activities that require
extended running tend to asthma more readily than
other forms of exercise. Medicines can be taken before
exertion to help avoid an episode. Warm-up and cool-down
activities appropriate for any exercise will also help the
student with asthma. These preventive measures allow most
students with asthma triggered by exercise to participate in
any activity they choose. Learn more about exercise and
- Avoid outdoor exercise when pollen or pollution levels are high.
- Support the student's treatment plan if it requires pre-medication before exercise.
- Know what to do if an asthma episode occurs during exercise. Have the child's Asthma Action Plan available.
- Encourage students with asthma to participate actively in sports,
recognizing and respecting their limits. Know the warning signs and symptoms for
asthma. Permit less strenuous activities
if a recent illness or asthma episode precludes full
participation. When asthma is under good control, students
with the disease are able to play most sports. A number of
Olympic and professional athletes have asthma.
- Refer your questions about a student's ability to fully participate in physical education to the parents and school nurse.
from Managing Asthma: A Guide for Schools. National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI), National Institutes of Health, U.S.
Department of Health and Human Services, and the Fund for the
Improvement and Reform of Schools and Teaching, Office of
Educational Research and Improvement (OERI), U.S. Department of
Education. September 1991. NIH Publication No. 91-2650.