Is it safe for children with asthma to participate in outdoor recess during the cold winter months? Most of the time the answer, thankfully, is yes! Children need exercise and play to stay healthy, mentally and physically, but extra precautions should be taken to ensure your child’s safety outdoors.
A good place to start is with the asthma doctor. Some children’s symptoms are triggered by cold air when they go out to play. Ask your child’s doctor if they can pre-medicate with their albuterol prior to going out, just as those with exercise-induced asthma do.
Dressing appropriately for the weather is also important to stay warm. Your child should have layers of loose-fitting, lightweight clothing. Their coats, hats, and gloves should fit them properly and be water repellent for playing in the snow. A scarf is also a great way to keep the air warm and moist to prevent extreme temperatures from triggering their asthma.
However, keep in mind that if the weather is extreme, then we should all stay indoors. The National Weather Service (NWS) cautions that a wind chill factor at or below -15°F can pose health risks for everyone.