Canadian Lung Association Blog

What is to blame for the September Spike in asthma symptoms?

Back to school

As summer winds down, many parents start gearing up for the school year. That usually means buying school supplies and longer pants. But for parents of children with asthma, getting ready for school should also include taking steps to protect their kids from the “September Spike” – the sharp rise in kids’ asthma symptoms that happens soon after school begins.

What is to blame for the September Spike in asthma symptoms?

Viruses & other triggers

When kids go back to school, they are suddenly at close quarters with many kids – and with the germs and viruses kids carry. Viruses, including the common cold, are one of the top triggers for asthma symptoms in kids. For kids with asthma, especially uncontrolled asthma, a simple cold can lead to dangerous symptoms and unscheduled visits to the doctor and emergency room.  School children with colds often pass their germs to family members which means preschoolers and adults with asthma also have a spike in symptoms each September. It’s a good time to review hand-washing techniques! It is peak season for ragweed, moulds and grain dust – a trigger for some people with allergies. It is also a time of higher stress.

Learn what you can do to help prevent the September Spike in asthma symptoms.

Medication use & inhaler technique

Often people start feeling better in the summer and stop taking their medications regularly. Research shows that the use of inhaled corticosteroids drops by 60% in the summer. It is important to take your medications as prescribed by your doctor.  Having good control of your asthma can help manage any flare-ups that do occur.

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