Fall is one of the most dangerous times for people with asthma, especially children. Asthmatics often enjoy a reprieve from symptoms during the summer months, but ER visits for asthma increase during September and early October. Reports indicate that approximately 25% of all children’s asthma hospitalizations occur in the month of September. Some refer to this as the "September Asthma Epidemic."
What contributes to the September Asthma Peak?
- High fall pollen levels from allergens like ragweed and mold in the air
- Increased exposure to indoor allergens (animal dander, indoor mold), VOC’s (from new carpeting or construction over the summer), and from respiratory irritants (air pollutants from idling cars and buses) upon returning to school
- Irregular use of medications to control asthma/allergies over the summer months
- Greater exposure to viruses including cold germs, influenza, and COVID-19, after returning to the classroom
- Anxiety and stress, along with changing schedules, associated with the new school year
Here are some good reminders, for both children and adults, during this season and throughout the year:
- Identify and avoid your asthma triggers.
- Have an appropriate treatment plan for allergies, one of the most common triggers of asthma symptoms.
- Update and follow your child’s Asthma Action Plan and provide a copy to the school.
- Take long-acting asthma medications as prescribed, even when you feel well and your asthma is controlled.
- Refill all medications prior to school start and make sure your child has access to their quick-relief inhaler.
- Wash hands frequently, eat nutritious meals, and get plenty of rest to avoid illness. Serious asthma flares are often associated with respiratory tract infections.
- Get a flu shot (all family members).
- See your allergist for regular asthma check-ups to maintain good control. As children grow, medications may need to be adjusted.
The physicians at Atlanta Allergy & Asthma are experts in the diagnosis and management of asthma and allergic diseases. Schedule an appointment at one of our 18 locations for an accurate diagnosis and a management plan to keep your family healthy and active this season.