Don’t trigger an asthma attack!

By Casey Frye, CCNN Writer

kid inhaler
This kid looks like he has his asthma under control!

Asthma is a condition that swells airways connected to the lungs, making it difficult to breathe. As someone who isn’t affected by the condition, I always assumed the worst time for attacks would be in the summer! However, according to several clinical studies, the worst day is approximately 17 days after Labor Day in September, and a lot of the reason has to do with going back to school!

During the summer, it’s not uncommon to find kids outdoors for most of the day, so returning to a climate-controlled room is a shock the the senses. Add the fact that many classrooms across the US contain dust mites, airborne chalk particles, animal dander, cockroaches, and mice, it’s not hard to see why it’s the “perfect storm” to trigger an asthma attack!

In addition, many individuals believe that the winter season is the easiest time in which to catch the flu. However, it’s not the cold that makes a person sick, it’s being cooped up with people who carry the flu virus. Spreading the sickness is especially easy in classrooms where 20-30 kids sit about 5 feet from each other all day! Since many young students probably don’t wash their hands correctly, it easy to infect someone with asthma, which can trigger attacks! If you suffer from asthma, what can you do to protect yourself?

Reduce your exposure to asthma triggers! Before you ask your parent if you can skip school, don’t; there are many things to do at home to stay protected. For one, switch out your pillow cases frequently. Better yet, replace them with allergen-proof ones. Pillows harbor many dust mites, and laying your face on them for 10 hours a night definitely counts as overexposure! Once that is taken care of, attend to the bathrooms and bedrooms in the house. It’s not uncommon to have traces of mold in these rooms, so cleaning it would be in the best interest of someone who has asthma. Finally, visit the doctor for advice on how to handle individual cases, after all, not every person is exactly the same.

If you do choose to follow these steps, it doesn’t mean you’ll never have an asthma attack again. Be sure to keep inhalers or other prescribed medicines handy for emergencies!

Featured image courtesy of NAHID on Flickr. Image of kid with inhaler courtesy of Tradimus on Wikimedia.