The schools will soon reopen in late August, and kids will be back to their routines. But, the fall will not only be the start of schools but also increased flare-ups of allergies and asthma in kids. This is one of the challenges to be kept in mind by parents. According to Dr. Todd Mahr, President of the American College of Allergy, asthma, and Immunology (ACAAI), there is an increase in kids’ visits for asthma and allergies due to various factors. Hospitals witness what’s known as ‘September Spike’ due to increased visits by kids who were off asthma medications for summer and have started experiencing asthma flare-ups.
As the school reopens, children become prone to numerous allergens in the school campus, i.e., in the cafeteria, playgrounds, classrooms, gymnasium, etc. Generally, children do not face these allergens during there summer breaks. In addition to this, fall is accompanied by ragweed season, which is a terrible time for allergic children. Parents should be alert this time of the year. Dr. Mahr suggests that they should meet with the child’s allergist to create an action plan to tackle with the allergy problem. Parents should identify potential allergy and asthma triggers and inform them to the school in PTA meetings to help ease symptoms. Chemical compounds from new paint, new carpeting, pollen drifting into the classrooms via windows, or molds in the bathroom are some of the potential triggers that can be found in schools.
According to ACAAI, kids with asthma can still play any sport they like as long as they follow their allergist’s action plan. Parents should inform the respective coaches about their child’s condition so that coaches will know what to do in a worst-case scenario. If a child has a food allergy, parents should inform the school about the same. Parents should work with the school staff and their child’s allergist and draw a proper diet plan and treatment procedures. Lastly, the child should be trained in emergencies where he/she might have to treat oneself for an allergy or asthma attack.