Swimming with children is a parent-child activity that parents generally like to arrange. There has been a topic of much concern that has been repeatedly discussed, that is, whether swimming can improve asthma symptoms in children. This topic was originally from a variety show. The father of Fu Yuanhui, the “Fish Girl”, told the story of his daughter’s learning to swim at the age of 5. The father’s original intention was not to train a good swimmer, but Fu Yuanhui was troubled by asthma when he was young. His father wanted to swim to treat his daughter’s asthma. In fact, Fu Yuanhui insisted on swimming for many years, and asthma has never been attacked.
One stone stirred up a thousand layers of waves. As soon as this was said, many parents of asthma children ignited hope and followed suit. At the same time, however, some parents are skeptical about swimming for asthma, which is not suitable for all children with asthma. So the question is, can swimming really improve children’s asthma symptoms?
Be aware: wheezing, asthma, children
As the most common chronic airway disease in childhood, asthma seriously affects children’s physical and mental health, and also brings heavy mental stress and economic burden to families and society. In the past 20 years, the prevalence of asthma in children in China has shown a clear upward trend. The reasons for this are not only the environmental changes, but also the parents’ awareness of the disease and the imperfect early intervention. So today, we are very knowledgeable about the popularity of childhood asthma.
It is worth noting that non-specific respiratory symptoms such as wheezing, coughing, shortness of breath, and chest tightness during childhood are not the gold standard for diagnosis of asthma. For example, early transient wheezing and persistent wheezing of early onset can also occur with such symptoms. As the child grows older and the lungs mature, these symptoms will slowly disappear. The former generally disappears before the age of 3, while the latter may last until the school age, and some children still have symptoms around the age of 12.
Delayed wheezing is known as asthma, and these patients have a typical background, often accompanied by eczema and allergic rhinitis. Asthma symptoms often persist until adulthood. In this long course of disease, repeated attacks of asthma and repeated stimulation of inflammation may cause airway fibrous tissue hyperplasia, gland enlargement, smooth muscle hypertrophy, resulting in airway structural changes, and the lung function of the child will be permanently Irreversible damage. Early intervention and standardized management of childhood asthma are critical to improving disease outcomes.
It has been confirmed that swimming can cure asthma
Swimming is a very popular systemic aerobic exercise, and its value to human health is self-evident. It can not only exercise the whole body muscles at the same time, improve physical fitness, enhance resistance, and most importantly, it can effectively improve heart and lung function, especially in terms of increasing lung capacity. Children with asthma need to combine their breathing with their constantly waving arms during swimming to learn how to control their breathing rhythms and exercise their chest muscles to improve their breathing.
In addition, the warm and humid environment of the swimming pool is also suitable for children with asthma. Studies have shown that asthmatic and activity-restricted symptoms are well controlled when asthmatic children receive swimming training for 12 consecutive weeks, 3 days a week, and more than 30 minutes each. Animal experiments have also found that allergic asthma mice have a significant decrease in allergic immune response cells in the airways after a period of swimming training, which provides strong evidence that swimming can improve the symptoms of asthma patients.
Therefore, Fu Yuanhui’s father said that swimming for asthma is not without foundation. In fact, in addition to Fu Yuanhui, it is also a coincidence that South Korean swimmer Park Tae-hwan walked into the pool. He learned to swim at the doctor’s advice because he had asthma at an early age. Unexpectedly, this random move has actually made the Korean swimming myth. In August 2008, in the men’s 400m freestyle final of the Beijing Olympic Games, Park Tae-hwan won the gold medal in the first swimming event in the history of the Korean Olympic Games.
Please note: Chlorine is a time bomb
From this point of view, the role of swimming in improving children’s asthma symptoms is unquestionable, but there are still some problems in the swimming process, which needs to be paid attention to by parents.
For example, if the pool water quality is up to standard and the disinfectant chlorine concentration is too high. It is well known that the water quality of swimming places is cleaned by disinfection and purification. In recent years, chlorination has been widely used as a simple, economical and effective disinfection method for the disinfection of drinking water and swimming pool water. Compared with drinking water, the chlorination disinfection products in swimming pool water are more complex and higher in concentration, and the disinfection process is also easy to form disinfection by-products.
Studies on the effects of the environment on the respiratory system have shown that chlorine can cause a certain stimulating effect on the human airways, causing damage to the airway mucosa and inducing respiratory diseases such as asthma or bronchitis. The chlorine in the swimming pool is undoubtedly a time bomb for children with asthma. Therefore, the choice of swimming place for asthma children is very important. It is necessary to choose non-chlorine disinfection or regular swimming pool with low concentration (0.46mg/L~0.6mg/L) chlorine disinfection.
In addition, children should use appropriate exercise prescriptions when swimming, and gradually increase the tolerance and exercise load in a step-by-step manner. Especially for children with exercise asthma, long-term strenuous exercise should be avoided. Exercise asthma is a special type of manifestation of bronchial asthma. Most patients have acute airway stenosis and increased airway resistance 6 minutes to 10 minutes after the onset of strenuous exercise, which in turn leads to sudden chest tightness, shortness of breath, and cough. Such children are advised to take medication under the guidance of a doctor, and then exercise after the condition improves. Parents should not train their children blindly. Before swimming, it is best for asthmatic children to inhale anti-asthmatic drugs ten minutes in advance and do a warm-up exercise to make the swimming process safer.
Remind you: the best is the best
Swimming has a significant effect on the improvement of symptoms in children. It is recommended that parents with children with asthma can try it. Not only swimming can improve asthma symptoms, moderate aerobic exercise such as gymnastics, jogging, yoga, cycling, etc., are beneficial to improve the patient’s vital capacity and respiratory control, improve the immune system, and help reduce the acute asthma attack. .
Of course, not all sports are suitable for children with asthma. Inappropriate exercise can even become a trigger for asthma, such as skiing and winter marathons. So how do you judge whether a sport is appropriate? Let’s get acquainted with the mechanism of exercise-induced asthma.
Exercise-induced asthma is a manifestation of airway allergy. As the air is increased during exercise, the airway is cooled and dehydrated. Inhalation of cold and dry air directly stimulates the airway, resulting in airway spasm. In addition, airway dehydration and temperature changes activate airway mast cells and release chemical agents that induce allergic symptoms such as histamine, thereby inducing asthma. Therefore, when choosing the type of exercise, you should try to choose aerobic exercise with a clean, gentle and moist movement.
Parents can combine the children’s own conditions and interests to choose the right exercise to exercise, safe and effective exercise is the best choice to improve children’s asthma symptoms.