End of Summer Starts Asthma Season

Keep yourself and your kids prepared for the annual spike in asthma. Parents of kids with asthma need to prepare for the annual back-to-school spike in child asthma flair-ups.


A spike in asthma symptoms. and flare-ups among children who have asthma is expected to start in late August, and continue through the end of September. According to a review of past claims data and public health records by Excellus BlueCross BlueShield. 

Asthma is one of the most common long-term diseases among children. The annual late-August to late-September spike usually consists of an increase in the number of childhood asthma-related medical visits, asthma attacks, and hospitalizations caused, in part, by the increase in respiratory infections among kids who are exposed to more germs once they return to school.

If you have asthma, you have it all the time … but actual asthma “attacks” occur only when something irritates the lungs. An asthma attack can make the sufferer feel like they are drowning.

Common triggers for this late summer asthma spike:

  • The common cold passed around from child to child.
  • The change from a relaxed summer schedule to a structured school day and its impact on medication schedules.
  • It is the peak time of year for molds and pollen. Causes wheezing, breathlessness, chest tightness, and coughing at night or early in the morning.

 

Six steps to controlling your child’s asthma:

  • Check in regularly with your child’s doctor to make sure that any prescribed asthma medication is working and that you have medications and supplies for home, and school. Request a physician’s note if your child will need medications at school.
  • Make sure your child takes all asthma medications as directed.
  • Alert school staff regarding your child’s asthma, including details about your child’s asthma triggers, and signs of an asthma attack.
  • Empower your child by teaching them about asthma, including how to notice triggers and warning signs.
  • Reduce asthma triggers at home by washing bedding with hot water once a week and using allergy-proof covers on mattresses and pillows.
  • Prevent the spread of germs by encouraging proper hand-washing by the entire family, and making sure that every family member age 6 months and older receives a yearly flu shot.  

In advance of this annual spike, parents should consult with their child’s pediatrician to develop or update their child’s asthma action or management plan. 

Asthma action plans should indicate a child’s daily treatment, including which meds to take, when to take them, and how to identify when asthma symptoms are severe enough to contact the child’s pediatrician or to take the child to an urgent care center or hospital emergency room.

Parents, and schools of a child with asthma should have a copy of this asthma action plan and understand their responsibilities.

For more information and resources for parents of children with asthma, please check out the following websites: