It’s Asthma Peak Week: Here’s What You Need to Know

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A doctor and specialist weigh in on this unique time of year

Are you having a hard time breathing or do you feel like your allergies are going haywire? Welcome to Asthma Peak Week.

In the U.S., the third week of September sees the highest concentration of asthma flare ups and hospitalizations all year. In fact 25% of all asthma-related stays for kids in a year happen during this seven-day period. According to Dr. Payel Gupta, a physician and asthma and allergy specialist, this unique time of year brings asthma issues for two reasons.

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“First, it’s peak ragweed season, which is not only a very common allergy but can trigger allergic asthma. Second is the Back-to-School timeframe. Kids are exposed to a lot of viruses and asthma triggers this time of year and are often bringing them home with them,” Gupta tells AMGEN.

Atlanta Allergy & Asthma identifies additional irritants, including inconsistent use of medication over the summer break and stress and anxiety from changes in schedules thanks to school. Knowing why this week takes more kids to the hospital for asthma is important, but it’s even more pertinent to prevent issues as much as possible, in addition to having a plan to handle them.

The Asthma & Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA) recommends that everyone maintain a written Asthma Action Plan, that includes how to track asthma symptoms, how to know when symptoms are getting worse, what to do in an emergency, and other vital details.

Additionally, families should practice plenty of healthy hand-washing habits, regularly wash bedding in hot water to cut down on dust, dander and germs, limit exposure to pets and candles and stay up-to-date on vaccines. “You can get shots for the flu, COVID-19, and pneumococcal disease. All of these vaccines can help reduce chances of becoming seriously ill or going to the hospital because of these illnesses….This is one of the best ways to protect the people you care for who have asthma from getting sick,” advices the AAFA.

As a parent, you know your child best and what a serious asthma attack looks like. Andrea J., a Certified Asthma Educator, tells AMGEN, “Trust your gut. If you sense something is off, don’t be afraid to advocate for your own and your families’ specific needs, and continue to seek the advice of a doctor or an asthma specialist.”

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