The Best Sports for Children with Asthma

Children with asthma can play sports as long as their asthma is under control. Here are the sports that are most recommended for these children.
The Best Sports for Children with Asthma

Last update: 26 April, 2021

Children with asthma don’t have to stay away from sports. In fact, exercising and playing sports can help children with asthma stay fit. In addition, exercising allows them to strengthen their breathing muscles. This will help their lungs work better.

However, some sports are better than others for children with asthma. We’ll talk about this topic in the following article.

What are the best sports for children with asthma?

Some sports are more challenging than others for children with asthma. For example, it’s more difficult for cycling, golf, or archery to trigger asthma attacks in children. However, there are other sports that can be more challenging in this regard; this is the case with soccer, basketball, track and field, or field hockey.

The Best Sports for Children with Asthma

In general, all sports that require a lot of energy and little rest time are a major challenge for little ones with asthma. However, that doesn’t mean that children with asthma can’t play these sports. With proper training and appropriate medication, these kids can also play these sports.

Experts often recommend that children with asthma participate in sports such as yoga, martial arts, baseball, fencing, volleyball, and golf. Swimming is also often recommended for these youngsters, however, it should be approached with caution and carefully monitored due to exposure to chlorine.

Triggers of asthma attacks during sports activities

An important issue that children should be clear about is what triggers an asthma attack during sports. Parents play an important role here, not only in identifying these causes, but also in ensuring that the child doesn’t lose self-confidence.

We shouldn’t lose sight of the fact that, as Daniel Hughes points out, exercise is probably the second most common trigger for asthma. Among other things, knowing the causes that trigger an asthma attack will help you take the right precautions. It’ll also help the child stop in time so that the asthma attack isn’t so severe.

For example, sports played in cold environments can be difficult for children suffering from asthma, because, in these conditions, the lungs are exhausted earlier. Vigorous sports can also pose a risk, as well as sports that are played for long periods of time with little or no rest. These sports also tend to be more difficult for asthmatic children to endure.

When physical activity causes symptoms in an asthmatic child, cough and dyspnea are the most common complaints, with chest tightness in second place. Wheezing is less frequently mentioned.

In any case, the physical fitness of the asthmatic child is an important factor to take into account when assessing their participation in sports, especially if there’s a problem of excess weight or obesity.

This doesn’t mean that an asthmatic child who’s not fit shouldn’t play sports; on the contrary, they should do so, but gradually, so that they can get fit little by little and so that asthma attacks don’t make them lose interest in physical activity.

The Best Sports for Children with Asthma

How to approach sports practice for children with asthma?

The treatment of asthmatic children who play sports must be adapted to their specific needs. In fact, it’s very important to discuss this issue with the medical specialist.

Experts generally recommend that children with asthma use an inhaler 13 to 30 minutes before exercising. In addition, they should spend more time than usual warming up, in order to warm up more gradually. This will help the child breathe better throughout the exercise.

In addition, asthmatic children should always have their inhalers on hand during sports practice. This will allow them to use it when they feel they’re having an asthma attack. If the child can’t carry the inhaler, it should be close by and accessible. In addition, both the coach and teammates should have access to the inhaler to provide it in case of need.


All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

  • Asthma Friendly Sports for Kids | Asthma Treatment in New York. Recuperado de
  • Del Giacco, S., Firinu, D., Bjermer, L., & Carlsen, K. (2015). Exercise and asthma: an overview. European Clinical Respiratory Journal2(1), 27984. doi: 10.3402/ecrj.v2.27984
  • Del Giacco, S., Firinu, D., Bjermer, L., & Carlsen, K. (2015). Exercise and asthma: an overview. European Clinical Respiratory Journal2(1), 27984. doi: 10.3402/ecrj.v2.27984
  • Hudak, B. Can Kids and Teens With Asthma Play Sports? (for Parents) – Nemours KidsHealth. Retrieved 16 February 2021, from
  • Hughes, D. (2014). Childhood asthma and exercise. Paediatrics & Child Health19(9), 467-468. doi: 10.1093/pch/19.9.467

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.