What Teachers and Coaches Should Know Exercise is one of the most common triggers for kids and teens with asthma. But some people (including those who don't have asthma) have asthma symptoms only during or after exercise. This is known as exercise-induced asthma (EIA) (also called exercise-induced bronchoconstriction, or EIB). When this happens, a person might: wheeze or cough feel tightness or pain in the chest have shortness of breath Symptoms may happen within 5–10 minutes of exercising, and peak 5–10 minutes after exercising stops. Symptoms usually go away within 1 hour. Students with EIA may: get winded or tired easily during or after exercise cough after coming inside from being active outdoors not be able to run for more than a few minutes without stopping need to use asthma medicine with an inhaler when symptoms happen What Teachers and Coaches Can Do Having EIA doesn't mean students should skip sports, gym classes, or other physical activities. As well as keeping them fit, exercise can strengthen the breathing muscles in the chest and help their lungs work better. But students with EIA may need to use inhalers before they exercise. Teachers and coaches can help students with EIA by: reminding them to carry and use their inhaler before activity making time for proper warm-ups and cool-downs during practices, games, and other physical activities encouraging them to breathe through the nose during exercise having them take breaks during exercise and use an inhaler as prescribed if symptoms start avoiding exercise in cold temperatures (or having students wear a ski mask or scarf over their mouth and nose if this can't be avoided) You should know your students' asthma triggers and let them use their medicines when needed. If a student's symptoms don't improve or get worse after taking medicine, call the school nurse or 911. Back to Articles Related Articles Exercise-Induced Asthma Many kids with asthma have symptoms when they exercise. But with careful management, they usually can do anything their peers can do. Read More Can Kids and Teens With Asthma Play Sports? Kids and teens who have asthma can and do play sports. But some activities are better than others - find out more. Read More Exercise-Induced Asthma Some people have asthma symptoms only during or after exercise. This is called exercise-induced asthma. Get some tips for coping with it in this article. Read More Can People With Asthma Play Sports? Sports and exercise are a good idea for people with asthma. But some activities are better than others - find out more. Read More Can Kids With Asthma Play Sports? Kids who have asthma can and do play sports. Find out how to do it safely in this article for kids. Read More Word! Exercise-Induced Asthma Some people have asthma symptoms (such as coughing, wheezing, or trouble breathing) only when they're doing sports or being active. Read More Asthma Center Visit our Asthma Center for information and advice on managing and living with asthma. Read More Asthma Center Asthma means breathing problems. Find out what's going on in the lungs and how to stay healthy, if you have it. Read More School and Asthma Lots of teens have asthma. Here are tips on keeping it under control so you can prevent (or manage) a flare-up at school. Read More School and Asthma If you have asthma, you need to know how to handle it at school. Find out more in this article for kids. Read More School and Asthma Asthma flare-ups are the main reason kids with asthma miss school. But well-managed asthma is far less likely to result in a sick day. Read More Asthma Center Asthma keeps more kids home from school than any other chronic illness. Learn how to help your child manage the condition, stay healthy, and stay in school. Read More Note: All information is for educational purposes only. For specific medical advice, diagnoses, and treatment, consult your doctor. © 1995-2021 KidsHealth®. All rights reserved. Images provided by The Nemours Foundation, iStock, Getty Images, Veer, Shutterstock, and Clipart.com.