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EPE #310

Asthma and Physical Education

This week I want to talk about asthma in physical education. As mentioned in the video, 88% of people wouldn’t know how to properly help a child having an asthma attack. Although this statistic may vary from city to city, it is obvious that people feel uncomfortable when dealing with asthma. Over the past few years, asthma rates have been increasing with children. This is a serious issue to recognized as educators teaching phys ed.

For as long as I can remember, I have had asthma. I have had asthma attacks, lots of scares, and lots of medication. Although I can control my asthma daily, I cannot guarantee that I won’t react to an allergen, or loose my breath when playing a game of soccer. Since I have lived with asthma for so long, I am able to recognize when I am loosing my breath to stop what I am doing. However, the students in our classrooms may not yet recognize these symptoms and over exert themselves playing a game in physed for example. How would we handle that situation? What steps do we as educators need to take? I believe it is extremely important to know how to recognize and handle an asthma attack.

It is important to know where the students keep their inhalers, who you should contact and how severe their asthma is. Although you can’t physically do much for an individual having an asthma attack, you can calm them down and support them.

I hope to learn more about asthma in physical education as we continue our class his semester.


About porterjen

I am a pre-service teacher studying at the University of Regina. I have created this blog to follow the weekly events of my physical education class. I look forward to updating my first professional blog!


6 thoughts on “Asthma and Physical Education

  1. Jenny, I 100% agree. I hope to learn more about asthma throughout the semester as well. I also strongly feel that First Aid/CPR should be provided within the Education program, especially around this time before we head out on our three-week block. Obviously, it is offered through the University (at a cost I believe?) but we are busy students – it can be hard to find the time! I also know many people are already certified in First Aid/CPR for their current jobs but some of us don’t (mine has expired). I think we pay more than enough tuition to get First Aid/CPR rolled in to our degree ……….. our future students’ lives are important.

    Posted by Chelsea Youngson | January 23, 2012, 2:41 pm
    • Thanks Chelsea! I had never thought about having a first aid/CPR course in the program, but it makes a lot of sense! Although I spoke of asthma specifically, it is important to understand how to handle dangerous or life threatening issues in the classroom. Unfortunately, we have not spoke about this aspect of education which is too bad. I think that adding a course like that would be extremely beneficial! Thanks for sharing your thoughts

      Posted by porterjen | January 23, 2012, 11:21 pm
  2. I loved this! I also grew up with a very serious case of asthma. I spent many nights and weekends in hospitals and never went anywhere without an inhaler. With this being said I did not allow this to stop me from being active or playing the sports I loved. I know from my personal experiences as a child with asthma that most adults had no idea what to do if I had an asthma attack. None of my teachers or coaches knew what to do, and if I had an asthma attack they would literally be freaking out. I know this is why my parents taught me at a young age how to handle it myself and how to recognize it like you said. Of course this isn’t always the case and anyone dealing with children should have some knowledge on what to do, especially if you are being physically active with the children. I also agree with Chelsea. We pay more then enough to have some sort of first aid in our degree. We spend all of our days dealing with children and are not taught what to do in case of accidents or onsets of diseases (like asthma). Thank you for posting this, I think it is very important for all educators to become aware of these types of possible situations!

    Posted by tysonorr | January 23, 2012, 4:12 pm
    • Thanks Tyson! You mention something really important that I forgot to write in my post. You say ” I did not allow this to stop me from being active or playing the sports I loved”. I agree completely! I played soccer, ran track and did all sorts of physical activity without letting asthma get in the way. I think that is important for teachers to recognize as well. Asthma can be dangerous, but it should not take over your life in any way!

      Just like you, I agree that the people around me would have no idea how to handle an asthma attack. It’s kind of a scary thought because an asthma attack happens quickly without warning. But, hopefully this video will give some insight to what an asthma attack looks like, and how to help someone through it.

      Thanks again for sharing!

      Posted by porterjen | January 23, 2012, 11:31 pm
  3. Good point Jenny! I also never thought about First Aid/CPR being offered within our program as Chelsey mentioned. Hmm – now I’m a little surprised that it’s not offered or included in a class (This may have been something practical in health class!). I know it’s assumed that when we go into the schools that our cooperating teacher is likely responsible but theres lots of times the teacher isn’t present and we are alone with 30 students – and if you don’t have training that could be a scary thought! I don’t think thats a chance I would want to take!

    Posted by Tayler Cameron | January 24, 2012, 2:39 am
  4. I was diagnosed with activity-induced asthma (or as Tyson says “fake asthma”) when I was in grade 7 or 8. I was fine, and didn’t have any attacks due to regular low impact activity and wasn’t allergic to anything. I had to use an inhaler before I played soccer or basketball, but was usually fine when I played volleyball. I agree that most teachers and coaches don’t know how to handle students with asthma. I wonder sometimes if some coaches think their players are “faking” or out of shape and not really dealing with asthma. It’s sometimes hard to know if someone should be pushed a bit to be as active as they can or if they are having issues with breathing such as asthma.

    I am kind of surprised that there isn’t a requirement for us to have a first aid/CPR in order to graduate. When I got my kinesiology degree we needed to show that we had first aid/cpr certification in order to compete our program and graduate. I think it would be great to have this type of training as one of our admin or pd days within our program.

    Posted by Tamara | January 24, 2012, 4:45 pm

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