Be Aware of Asthma

Excerpt from Athletic Training Talk

     Asthma is a chronic, inflammatory lung disease involving recurrent breathing problems.  According to the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, asthma is the most common serious disease among children in the United States. 

     It's responsible for more than 5,000 deaths per year and 10 million school absences.  In fact, asthma is the number one cause for missed school across the country, including the Philadelphia and Delaware Valley.

PROGRAM FOCUSES ON ASTHMA SAFETY

     The ASTHMA WATCH program, aims to ensure recognition and proper treatment of this potentionally fatal condition.  The program developers, Temple University Sports Medicine Center athletic trainer Jim Rogers and Dr. Jack Becker, from St. Christopher's hospital, recommend the following guidelines for asthmatic who play sports:

The athlete's inhaler should always be present on the field during play or practice.

When an individual has to resort to using their rescue medication two times in an exercise period or more than three times a week, the asthma condition is considered unstable.  A visit to the physician is necessary and an adjustment in medication protocol may be needed.

Communication is important.  Everyone involved should be aware of the asthmatic's condition, including the coach, school nurse, and athletic trainer.