September marks the beginning of the new school year. Unfortunately, it also marks the beginning of cooler temperatures, elevated seasonal allergens, and increased circulation of respiratory viruses—all of which may trigger asthma episodes.
This time of year can create challenges if you or your loved ones are living with asthma. Asthma-related visits to emergency departments and doctors’ offices are typically the highest in the fall. During this time of year, it is important to work with health care providers to ensure asthma control:
- Review and update your Asthma Action Plan with a health care provider. Ensure an updated copy is given to your child’s school or childcare provider; (download AAP from RHA website)
- Use prescribed asthma medication and ensure proper medication technique is practiced;
- Manage seasonal allergies by working with your health care provider;
- Get your yearly flu vaccine. Everyone 6 months of age and older should get a flu vaccine every year before flu activity begins. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends getting vaccinated by the end of October.
- Take everyday preventive actions to stop the spread of germs. Wash your hands often with soap and water. Cover your nose and mouth when you sneeze with a tissue. Stay home when you are sick.
- Ensure access to quick-relief asthma medication at all times. If your child will be carrying a quick-relief inhaler in school (ideal for most school age children), complete all necessary school paperwork, including required school health forms (e.g. documentation of an asthma diagnosis, a note signed by you explaining that your child can carry and use a quick-relief inhaler, medication prescription label, etc.). (visit RHA’s webpage asthma management in school)
RHA Prepares for Another Year of Asthma Education
RHA recently welcomed three National Health Corps members that will serve as RHA’s asthma educators this school year. This fall, RHA’s asthma educators will deliver RHA’s evidence-based asthma programs, Fight Asthma Now© and Asthma Management, to students with asthma and their adult caregivers throughout Chicagoland schools in an effort to improve asthma management in the area. It’s RHA’s goal to educate more than 2,000 students with asthma and more than 3,000 adult caregivers this school year.