Back to School: Sports and Allergies

Here in Texas, back to school time also means high school football season! Yes, Friday night lights really are a thing here.


allergies sportsWhile the general mood associated with football is one of excitement, the sport can also present some dangers, especially if the players have asthma or allergies.

According to WebMD, some kids can have an anaphylactic reaction before or during exercise. Symptoms include a rash or itching, trouble breathing or a choking sensation, wheezing, nausea or a headache.

Anaphylaxis is a serious medical emergency in which you should call 9-1-1.

But it shouldn’t always come to that for student athletes with allergies and asthma. Most often, serious situations can be prevented with a little planning and diligence.

First is proper diagnosis. Consult an allergy specialist who can inform you about triggers in diet and environment to avoid. The doctor can also give guidelines for activity levels. Along with your child’s doctor, you can develop an allergy action plan. This is a written procedure of how to act in an emergency situation. That way there is no confusion if an emergency does happen.

Part of an action plan will be what medicines your child should carry with him/her at all times. These can be over the counter antihistamines or epinephrine shots. Another important part of the plan is to wear identification that informs teammates, coaches, and others about your child’s asthma or allergies.

Medical IDs come in bracelet and necklace styles in materials durable enough to wear during sports. If your child is playing a contact sport, check with the coach to find out what style would be least intrusive. The last thing you want is a medical ID that could cause an injury during a game. One idea is to purchase an ID that stays with the gym bag to be worn during practice and games.

Asthma and allergies are serious conditions, but they don’t have to prevent your child from participating in school sports. With a plan in place, you can rest assured while your child reaps the physical and mental benefits of participating in sports.

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