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Fall can be a challenging time of the year for kids with asthma, an expert says.
“Although asthma can flare up for a number of reasons, a lot of people with allergies also have asthma, and asthma can be triggered by allergies. So the fall is a tough time for asthmatic sufferers,” said Dr. Gaurav Kumar, a pediatrician at LifeBridge Health in Baltimore.
While many kids do well with their asthma during the summer, problems often accompany the return to school.
“You go from taking these outdoor summer vacations to now being in a classroom again,” Kumar explained. “So now you’re in contact with in closed spaces. And of course, what happens is germs are more likely to spread that way. So you could get colds from friends who have colds, and then that becomes a trigger for asthma.”
Parents need to make sure their child’s asthma is under control. If a child stopped taking preventive asthma medications regularly during the summer, they should resume daily use now, Kumar advised.
Children with asthma should have checkups at least once a year, and in some cases as often as three or four times a year.
“An asthma checkup is an opportunity for us to reassess how the year has gone and to make plans in anticipation of what might happen,” Kumar said in a LifeBridge Health news release.
A flu shot is also important, because kids with asthma are at high risk for serious flu-related complications. Asthma is the most common medical condition among children hospitalized with the flu.
Flu vaccine is “very safe” in children with asthma and “will not cause any negative effects to trigger asthma attacks,” Kumar said.