Find Information About:

Drugs & Supplements

Get information and reviews on prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and supplements. Search by name or medical condition.

Pill Identifier

Pill Identifier

Having trouble identifying your pills?

Enter the shape, color, or imprint of your prescription or OTC drug. Our pill identification tool will display pictures that you can compare to your pill.

Get Started
My Medicine

My Medicine

Save your medicine, check interactions, sign up for FDA alerts, create family profiles and more.

Get Started

WebMD Health Experts and Community

Talk to health experts and other people like you in WebMD's Communities. It's a safe forum where you can create or participate in support groups and discussions about health topics that interest you.

  • Second Opinion

    Second Opinion

    Read expert perspectives on popular health topics.

  • Community


    Connect with people like you, and get expert guidance on living a healthy life.

Got a health question? Get answers provided by leading organizations, doctors, and experts.

Get Answers

Sign up to receive WebMD's award-winning content delivered to your inbox.

Sign Up

Children's Health

Font Size

Kids With Chronic Illnesses Stay Active

Study Shows Children With Asthma, Diabetes, or Cystic Fibrosis Keep Up Physical Activities
WebMD Health News
Reviewed by Louise Chang, MD

Jan. 12, 2009 -- Children with chronic diseases often don't see themselves as too sick to take part in physical activity, and that's good, a new study shows.

What's more, children who feel good about themselves appear to be influenced by positive attitudes of their parents, Australian researchers say. Their study is published in the January edition of BMC Pediatrics.

Few children in the study mentioned any negative impact of their conditions, which included asthma, type 1 diabetes, and cystic fibrosis, on their physical activities. The youngsters' positive beliefs were shared by their parents. This influenced how much the children participated in physical activities, the study shows.

The parents and their children were interviewed separately. The researchers suggest that the upbeat attitudes of the youngsters and their parents could make it more likely for youths with chronic problems to grow into healthy adults.

Two "overarching" themes emerged from the study:

  • Beliefs and perceptions of children and young people that they could do anything their peers could, in relation to physical activity.
  • Parents indicated they'd "do anything" to make the wishes of their youngsters come true.

Chronic Conditions Don't Impede Activity

The researchers quoted a 13-year-old boy named Martin. He says, "There's nothing I can't really do because I just put my mind to anything and I can do it."

And the father of a 13-year-old boy with cystic fibrosis says his son is "probably the most active of them all."

The children, whose attitudes were gathered in interviews and from art exercises such as drawing, made it clear they engaged in a wide variety of athletic activities.

A 15-year-old named Mark with type 1 diabetes drew a diagram suggesting he plays cricket, walks the dog, hangs out with friends, and runs around on the soccer field.

Some of the children discussed incidents in which they were treated differently because of their diseases. "One of the PE (physical education) teachers used to treat me as if I was about to die," says a 10-year-old girl named Eloise, who has asthma. "That's so annoying."

In general, the researchers found that the youngsters didn't want to be treated differently, felt they could do what others could, and were not pleased when singled out.

Today on WebMD

child with red rash on cheeks
What’s that rash?
plate of fruit and veggies
How healthy is your child’s diet?
smiling baby
Treating diarrhea, fever and more.
Middle school band practice
Understanding your child’s changing body.

worried kid
jennifer aniston
Measles virus
sick child

Child with adhd
rl with friends
Syringes and graph illustration