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ADVANCE Perspective: Respiratory Views

Football Players Don't Get Asthma....

Published September 12, 2011 11:44 AM by Valerie Newitt

That was the message conveyed by the football coach of one young player who began wheezing during practices. Here's an excerpt from the parent's frustration as published by WebMD:

"My son is almost 12 and has played football since first grade. This year he began wheezing and was prescribed an inhaler by his doctor. His doctor believes he has sports induced asthma. My son was having trouble doing the sprints at the end of practice and now is using his inhaler. He still has to stop in the middle of sprints to do another dose of the inhaler. However his coach yelled at him the other day and told him he was faking it, saying to my son, "Are you kidding me? It's not even that hot out," and "Come on kid, any day now." My son was in tears. Now the coach's son told my son that ‘everyone knows you don't really have asthma.' My son is very upset."

At what point does it become obvious to this Neanderthal coach that a child's health is more important than the outcome of a game? When said child is loaded into an ambulance for a ride to the ED? Methinks that coach needs a little more coaching himself.

Education truly is the key to helping children control their asthma and keeping them in the safety zone. But who will educate the adults our children look up to?  Clearly, that coach and his tough-it-out machismo need to be sidelined.


One of the most famous things to happen on the NFL channel was Jerome Bettis (a.k.a., "The Bus") having an asthma attack on the sidelines of a professional game. Sadly, this kind of feeling is all over sports. Ever try to get coaches to listen for half an hour about asthma and how to handle it? It's nearly impossible. Like others, they simply do not want to know. My brother played with asthma his four years through high school. It's more prevalent now than ever, and getting worse. That coach needs to get much better at his job.

Jim Thacker, RT - MHA, CRT, AE-C November 11, 2011 7:50 AM
Lexington MO

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