Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Asthma in September

Asthma sufferers know that when it rains it spores - as fungi and mold get moving through the air. But many don't realize that the most dangerous month for children's asthma symptoms is dry September.

A study of hospital data in New York City found the spike in admissions in two to three weeks after the return to school. Additional New York studies indicated that cold and dry weather in autumn mostly increased admissions in the school-aged population (<18), while hot and dry weather in the summer caused spikes in asthma admissions across all ages. Doctor visits increase every September in many Northern Hemisphere countries. It happens in the United States, the United Kingdom, Mexico, Israel, Finland, Trinidad, and Canada, where 20% to 25% of all childhood asthma exacerbations requiring hospitalization have occurred in September.

Asthma hospitalizations in children 2-15 years in Canada

As students return to school, they are exposed to an increased number of indoor allergens, irritants and health risks. The "flu season" is approaching, weed pollen is not over yet, and indoor air is filled with pests, mold,
dust mites, animal dander, chalk
dust, cleaning agents, scented and unscented
personal care products and fumes.

So what can you do to manage asthma at school? Home environment is easier to control, but if you know your triggers, you can develop a plan - like asking teachers that pet animals with fur and feathers are not kept inside classrooms, dry-erase boards or " dustless" chalk are used instead of regular chalk and making sure that kids with asthma have reliable friends that can support them. 


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