If your child has trouble breathing while exercising beyond what is considered normal, he or she may have exercise intolerance. Subtle breathing problems are a very common cause of exercise intolerance in children, and the condition can be effectively treated.
The most important step toward treating your child’s exercise intolerance is having a thorough exam done. Observation of your child’s symptoms in an exercise lab can be very helpful for the child, parents and the medical team. Treatment of exercise intolerance depends on the cause. For example, exercise intolerance caused by asthma will be treated differently from exercise intolerance caused by muscular abnormalities. Specialists from different disciplines may become involved in your child’s care if causes unrelated to breathing are detected. Education surrounding different techniques for breathing and exercising, and possibly medication, will comprise your child’s treatment plan.
As your child gets older, their needs will change. Continue to follow up with your doctor regularly so treatment can be adjusted. With time and some effort, your child will be able to exercise without respiratory distress.