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  • Steps to Safety in Gym Class and Sports for Kids
    Added by My Identity Doctor
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    A group of kids play soccer on an outdoor field, wearing yellow or green jerseys.Whether you loved it or hated it as a kid, gym or physical education class is an important part of a kid’s education. That doesn’t mean, though, that for kids with certain medical conditions, that gym class or after-school sports isn’t a bit higher-risk than for other kids. Here are some steps to take if your child’s medical condition could be impacted by physical activity or exercise, be it phys ed class or community sports, or even swimming lessons.
    • Asthma – Exercise induced asthma is a pretty obvious cause for concern in physical activity settings. Having an inhaler carried on the child, as well as pre-medicating (taking a rescue inhaler if prescribed 5-15 minutes prior to activity) can prevent symptoms during exercise. If activity causes symptoms, the child should stop the activity and use their medication, and only resume when symptoms have resolved completely.
    • Diabetes – For kids with diabetes, specifically Type 1, or Type 2 treated with medication, exercise can impact the delicate balance between glucose in the blood, and insulin (whether injected or, in the case of T2 diabetes treated by meds that help the body to respond to insulin better). Exercise burns off glucose more rapidly and increases the body’s insulin sensitivity, so blood glucose is more likely to drop during activity. Having a snack before activity if blood sugar is within a lower normal range, and having fast acting glucose nearby to resolve hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) if symptoms develop. Checking blood sugar regularly during exercise is also important.
    • Bleeding Disorders (Hemophilia, etc.) – Extra precautions may need to be taken for kids with bleeding disorders. Depending on the severity, avoiding contact sports or certain activities may be recommended. In bleeding disorders, even a small cut may bleed profusely, so understanding what to do for each individual with a bleeding disorder in the event of an injury is important.
    • Epilepsy –  Seizure disorders, like epilepsy, vary greatly from person to person. Most people with a seizure disorder have identifiable triggers for their seizures, and some may be able to identify when a seizure is about to happen—this may vary with kids. Know what may trigger a seizure for a student or athlete (if identified) and have an action plan to follow in the event of a seizure, Keep any medications needed on hand at all times in case of a seizure.
    • Allergies – Both outdoor (seasonal) allergens and food allergies can be concerns in some physical activity settings. For phys ed classes, being aware of seasonal allergies when outdoor activities are planned, and keeping food out of the gym (unless needed for conditions like diabetes), can help prevent allergic reactions. For community sports, keeping an eye out for seasonal allergy symptoms and mentioning them to parents, and being especially mindful that these may have an impact on co-existing asthma, and ensuring kids do not share food, and avoid allergens of other children at practice (such as peanuts) is important. If there is a “team parent” who provides snacks and other care to the team members, they should ensure all kids allergies are taken into consideration for both safety and inclusiveness!
    In all cases, education is key. Physical education teachers, teachers assistants, coaches and volunteers should be aware of medical conditions that kids have that can impact them during sports, and what to do if kids need help. Written action plans should be provided to adults in charge to assist them to make the right decisions when every second counts. We have a great selection of medical ID sport bands that can be a stylish and kid-friendly way to communicate kids medical needs—that will stand up to all the sweat, dirt, grass, and gym floors that happen in a kid’s active lifestyle.
    Published by My Identity Doctor on August 23, 2016


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