The Fall Season & Your Asthma
The fall season can be a dangerous time if you or your child has asthma. Fall brings allergies, more viruses, and cold weather, all of which are common asthma triggers. For children, however, back to school time can be especially troublesome. Children are especially vulnerable, as they go back to school and find themselves in a crowded environment with plenty of germs circulating. Here are some tips to make sure your child has a safe and happy return to school.
- Make sure that the staff at school knows your child has asthma and what to do if your child shows symptoms. Talk to the new teacher to be sure he or she knows that your child has asthma.
- Give the school written directions for treatment of asthma attacks. Include all your child's medical information and information about the medications your child is taking. Include a list of asthma symptoms your child may experience and a list of emergency phone numbers.
- If your child has especially severe asthma, you may want to meet with school staff, for example the school nurse, physical education teacher, and your child's homeroom teacher. You child may also be present if you wish. Bring your written directions and discuss topics like asthma triggers, what makes it worse, asthma symptoms, use of medications, and emergency procedures.
- Continue communication with your child and school staff about asthma throughout the year.
- Talk to your health practitioner to decide when to keep your child home from school due to asthma symptoms. Many mild symptoms can be handled at school and there is no need for your child to miss school.
Allergens present in the fall can cause asthma problems for children and adults alike.
- Ragweed is more likely to be present in high numbers if spring was very wet and summer was hot. Weed pollens are at their highest levels at midday, so plan outdoor activities accordingly. When you come in from outdoors, shower and wash your hair and change your clothes immediately.
- Keep windows and doors shut when pollen counts are high. Check your local TV station for reports on pollen counts.
- Wet leaves and other yard waste can be a breeding ground for mold. Dispose of this waste as soon as possible and keep away from it. If you have a compost heap, relocate it to be as far away from the house as possible.
- Be sure to take any antihistamines prescribed by your health practitioner as directed.
Fall brings large weather changes, which some people find to be an asthma trigger. Keep warm clothes and rain gear with you in case of a sudden weather change.
Photo Credit: NIAID_Flickr