Asthma attacks surge when kids go back to school

It is time to go back to school!  It is always exciting to start off a new school year, but for children with asthma, there is often an increase in asthma attacks. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, children with asthma miss a combined 14.4 million school days a year.  That’s a lot of learning to be missed!

Why do kids have more asthma attacks as they return to school? This often occurs because as kids go back to school, they are picking up viruses and other infections from other kids.  In our practice, many of the asthma attacks experienced by children in this season are triggered by upper respiratory infections that are caused by viruses. Another reason is that often there is a surge in the pollen allergens in the fall, and if the child is allergic to this type of pollen, an asthma exacerbation can be triggered.  Often in the summer, the routine of using the daily maintenance medication for asthma falls by the wayside as families go on vacation and have changes in their schedule.  It is important to check in with your child’s asthma and allergy doctor to make sure that he or she is on the right medications.

What are some things to help prevent your child from missing school due to asthma attacks?  Encourage good hygiene, in terms of hand washing with soap, to prevent the spread of viruses.  Identify possible allergic triggers and with the help of the allergist, ways to reduced exposure to what he or she is allergic to.  It is a good time to discuss possible medications and other treatments to help control the allergy symptoms.  In addition, this is a great time to have a rock solid plan for asthma—if daily maintenance medications would be helpful, and what to do if your child has an asthma attack.  Often asthma medications need to be adjusted based on your child’s symptoms as well as breathing tests.  The allergist wants the best for your child—to be on the least amount of medication that will result in the most optimal control of his or her asthma.

-by Faith Huang, M.D.

Allergy & Asthma Associates of Southern California provides relief from allergies, asthma, sinus problems, chronic cough and other related conditions. Dr. William E. Berger, Dr. Warner W. Carr, Dr. Mark S. Sugar, Dr. Simi KapoorDr. Christina Schwindt, and Dr. Faith R. Huang together with their staff specialize in allergy and immunology in Southern California.

If you or your child are suffering from asthma or think you may have asthma please Call (949) 364-2900 to schedule your appointment today. You can also use our online Request an Appointment form to schedule a future appointment.

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