Jaime Anderson, of Spencerport, is a seasoned mom of an asthmatic. She’s spent many Septembers over the years helping her 11-year-old son, Adison, return safely to school. Adison was diagnosed with asthma when he was 3 years old.
Anderson begins the new school year educating staff about her son’s disease.
“It’s hard,” she said. “School staff can’t know everything. It’s up to the parents to make sure they do.”
September is a tough time for kids with asthma.
Asthma symptoms, and flare-ups among children who have asthma, tend to spike in September, according to a review of claims data and public health records by Excellus BlueCross BlueShield. The health plans’ review is available at bit.ly/2xyER54.
“The September peak is caused, in part, by an increase in respiratory infections among kids who are exposed to more germs once they return to school,” said Martin Lustick, of Canandaigua, a pediatrician who is also corporate medical director at Excellus BCBS. “Late summer and early fall also are peak times of the year for ragweed pollen, molds and dust mites, which can impact children living with asthma.”
Anderson, executive director of the American Lung Association in Western New York, has learned a lot about helping her son safely start the new school year.
“Your child should know what they’re dealing with,” she said. “They need to understand their triggers, recognize that they’re about to have an asthma attack and not be afraid to alert a teacher.”
Lustick said that now is a great time to update a child’s asthma action plan. Parents can also keep their children healthy by six steps.
Check in regularly with your child’s doctor to make sure prescribed asthma medication is working.
Make sure your child takes all asthma medications as directed.
Alert school staff regarding your child’s asthma, share details about your child’s asthma triggers and signs of an attack.
Teach your child 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.