Ask Dr. Nandi: For kids with asthma, allergies, new school year can bring flare-ups

Posted at 8:19 AM, Aug 11, 2019
and last updated 2019-08-11 08:19:50-04

Kids will be heading back to school in a few weeks and that’s exactly when asthma and allergies can flare up.

As parents prepare for the new school year, you may want to schedule an appointment with your child’s allergist. Because right after Labor Day, the “September Spike” begins.

It’s a term hospitals use to describe the influx of children experiencing allergy and asthma flare-ups. This happens because during the summer, a lot of kids go off their medications. And once they return to school, they get exposed to more allergens in all kinds of places, like the classroom, the cafeteria, the playground and in the school field.

The more common triggers found at schools are dust mites, chalk dust and mold. On top of that, ragweed season kicks off in late summer. And this pollen can cause hay fever leaving sufferers with irritated eyes, runny nose, nasal congestion and sneezing.

So what can parents do to help their children? Well here are my prescriptions:

  1. Make an appointment with your allergist soon, before school starts. Discuss asthma or allergy medications and make sure you and your child are well prepared before the first school bell rings.
  2. Be sure to talk with the teacher, gym coaches and school administrators. They should be aware of your child’s allergy or asthma condition, their triggers and their treatment plan.
  3. Talk with your child to review any potential problems at school and how it may affect their health. They should be able to recognize symptoms and any medication that they typically use along with how it should be administered.
  4. Lastly, if your child is at risk of a life-threatening reaction, make sure they have access to anaphylaxis medications like epinephrine.

Now it’s very common for children to have back to school jitters. But having an allergy action plan in place will certainly lesson some of their worries.

On the next Dr. Nandi Show, The Gut Microbiome: What You Put in Your Mouth Affects Your Body. Did you know that nearly 40 trillion microbes call the human body home? Recently, science has come a long way in understanding the importance of these tiny creatures living inside us. Dr. Nandi sits down with the leading experts in human gut health. Dr. Michael Murray demonstrates the importance of digestive enzymes. Billionaire entrepreneur and philanthropist, Naveen Jain talks about how technology is unraveling the secrets of the human microbiome. And much more. Tune in this Sunday, August 11th at 5 pm.