- Brain Foods: Healthy Food for Kids' Brains
- Childhood Illnesses Picture Slideshow
- Take the ADHD Quiz
- Find a local Pediatric Rheumatologist in your town
- Why Is Childhood Such an Important Time for Bone Development?
- What Is Osteoporosis? Isn't It Something Old People Get?
- How Can I Help Keep My Kids' Bones Healthy?
- How Can I Persuade My Daughter to Drink Milk Instead of Diet Soda? She Thinks Milk Will Make Her Fat.
- But My Kids Don't Like Milk.
- My Teenage Son Loves Milk, But It Seems to Upset His Stomach. Could He Have Lactose Intolerance?
- My Daughter Is Constantly Dieting. Should I Be Concerned?
- Should I Give My Kids Calcium Supplements?
- How Does Physical Activity Help My Kids' Bones?
- Is It Possible to Get Too Much Exercise?
- What Else Can My Kids Do Besides Eating Calcium-Rich Foods and Getting Plenty of Weight-Bearing Exercise to Keep Their Bones Healthy?
- My Son Has Asthma and Takes a Steroid Medication to Control It. His Doctor Said This Might Affect His Bones. Is There Anything We Can Do About This?
- My 8-Year-Old Son Is a Daredevil and Has Already Broken Several Bones. Could He Have a Problem Like Osteoporosis at This Young Age?
- How Can I Get Through to My Kids? They Sure Don't Think About Their Bones.
- Where Can I Go for More Information?
My Son Has Asthma and Takes a Steroid Medication to Control It. His Doctor Said This Might Affect His Bones. Is There Anything We Can Do About This?
Asthma itself does not pose a threat to bone health, but some medications used to treat the disease can have a negative effect on bones when taken for a long time. Corticosteroids, a type of anti-inflammatory medication, are often prescribed for asthma. These medications can decrease calcium absorbed from food, increase calcium loss from the kidneys, and shrink a child's bone bank account.
Kids with asthma need to take special care of their bones, making sure to get enough calcium and weight-bearing exercise. Some health care providers recommend extra calcium each day: between 1,000 and 1,500 mg. Many people think milk and dairy products – great sources of calcium and vitamin D – trigger asthma attacks, but this is probably true only if your child is allergic to dairy foods. Unfortunately, this misconception often results in an unnecessary avoidance of dairy products, which is especially risky for kids with asthma, who need extra calcium during their bone-building years.
Because exercise can often trigger an asthma attack, many people with asthma avoid weight-bearing physical activities that strengthen bone. Kids with asthma may be able to exercise more comfortably in an air-conditioned place, such as a school gym or health club.
Talk to your child's doctor for more information about protecting his bones while he is taking asthma medications.