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Demand for more school sports for chronically ill children


Individually adapted training programs: More school sport for chronically ill children

A recently published report showed that about every fourth child in Germany suffers from a chronic illness. Some of the young patients are released from sport at school. But according to experts, the importance of sport for chronically ill children is much higher than for healthy children. Therefore, individually tailored training programs should be used.

Every fourth child suffers from a chronic illness

As the recently published DAK-Gesundheit children's and youth report shows, around one in four children suffers from a chronic illness. "The most common ailments include neurodermatitis, asthma, allergies and chronic inflammatory diseases of the intestine," wrote the health insurance company in a message. Some of the little patients are exempted from school sports. But according to health experts, this is often not sensible.

As much sport as possible

Chronically ill children - for example with congenital heart defects, type I diabetes or asthma - should not be exempted from school sports, on the contrary, individually tailored training programs should be used.

This is what experts call for on the occasion of the German Heart Days 2018 in Berlin based on current study results.

Her motto: As much sport as possible, only as much sport restriction as necessary.

Great potential for prevention and education for a healthy lifestyle

According to Dr. Richard Eyermann (rehabilitation for children and adolescents, Schönblick Clinic, Berchtesgaden) school sport has great potential for prevention and upbringing for a healthy lifestyle, but is not used enough and currently does not meet the needs of healthy or chronically ill children.

"Sport is particularly important for chronically ill children with congenital heart defects, type I diabetes or asthma and should be an integral part of therapy management," said Dr. Eyermann according to a message.

"Our studies on intensified school sports such as the BREGASS study and sports and exercise therapy in children and adolescents with congenital heart defects, type 1 diabetes and bronchial asthma show this."

Physical weakness is often due to unjustified sports restrictions

According to the experts, physical inefficiency in children with such illnesses often results from unjustified sports restrictions and not from the illness itself.

“Physical training could fix this. Sports bans, on the other hand, increase the extent to which chronically ill children are affected and impair their motor and socially integrative development, ”said Dr. Eyermann.

"Pediatricians should carry out regular sports medical health checks in order to assess their individual resilience and fitness for sports and to avoid unnecessary dangers," said the doctor.

"In the case of sports exemptions, only partial exemptions should be given according to the motto: As much sports as possible and only as many restrictions as necessary."

Exercise and sport as an essential treatment principle

According to the specialist, important organizational prerequisites for such an approach: The medical certificate should be implementable in sports pedagogy.

Sports teachers should be specially trained in child prevention and rehabilitation sports, general first aid and special disease-related help.

They should also pass on the basics of help in sports incidents with chronically ill children to classmates.

"Pediatric sports medicine in prevention and rehabilitation should be integrated even more into pediatric and adolescent medicine as an interdisciplinary pediatrics and as rehabilitation research for chronically ill children," said Dr. Eyermann.

"It is not just a question of allowing chronically ill children to participate in sport, but also of using exercise and sport as an essential treatment principle in a targeted manner in the therapy regime." (Ad)

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