Thursday, April 23, 2009

Spring Soccer and Asthma

Our community has a great AYSO chapter. Imagine the excitement in our home when they announced a first-ever spring soccer season. My kids love soccer and were eager to secure spots within the various age brackets.

While this marks our first venture in spring soccer, it also marks another first. This will be the first team sport played by our son since his asthma diagnosis last fall.

Most people have heard of asthma, but many have no idea what it really is. Asthma is a serious, chronic condition that affects the airways of the lungs. During an asthma attack the lining of the airways swells and becomes narrow. This swelling can be present to some degree all of the time, but worsens considerably during an attack. When the airways swell they become more sensitive. Finally, added obstruction is caused when the muscles surrounding the airways tighten.

During an asthma attack a child may tire easily, cough, feel tightness in the chest, wheeze and complain of shortness of breath.

There are many causes, or triggers of asthma. Common triggers include pollen, mold, animal dander, cigarette smoke, respiratory infections and exercise. A person with asthma can respond to any combination of triggers.

With daily medications and peak flow checks, we are working hard to control our son's symptoms. He hasn't had any problems during physical exercise, but we are armed with knowledge and a doctor-endorsed asthma action plan should he have problems.

We are looking forward to a fun and successful spring soccer season because we have equipped ourselves for success on and off the field.

Kids with asthma do not have to sit on the sidelines. If you suspect your child may have asthma, contact your doctor.

You can find out more about Asthma and AYSO soccer here:

Asthma-American Academy of Allergy Asthma and Immunology

Asthma- American Lung Association

AYSO- The American Youth Soccer Organization

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