What is the September Epidemic? Kanwaljit Brar, MD, allergy and immunology expert with National Jewish Health for Kids explains the increase in asthma exacerbations every September when children return to school, and how this results in more hospital visits and more ER visits.
25% of all children’s asthma hospitalizations happen in September.
The September Epidemic is when we see an increase in asthma exacerbations in the fall when children return to school, resulting in more hospital visits and more ER visits.
This may be because children are acquiring more viruses and the kids are passing it on to one and another.
At this time of year it’s really important that students make sure they’re taking their daily medication.
And parents may be busy taking care of back-to-school shopping lists, but it’s really important to add that daily medication and filling it every school year.
September is also when the weather may get a little cold.
We know that cold is a major trigger of asthma, so it’s really important that kids consistently pretreat if they have a trigger of exercise before exposure to cold such as during recess or during PE would be an important way of preventing exacerbations.
Checking peak flow is a good way to monitor asthma control.
Having your children check it daily gives you a good gauge of where they are when they're well and especially checking it during illness helps parents understand if their children’s asthma is not adequately controlled.
An asthma action plan is something we provide to schools to give them a strategy for dealing with the asthma and that guidance for schools is important to bridge the gap between the school and the parent regarding asthma care.
How to Protect Against the September Epidemic:
Make sure asthma medication is taken daily.
Pretreat before exercise when the weather is cold.
Check peak flow when healthy and during sickness.
Develop an Asthma Action Plan to bridge the gap between home and school.
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