Managing Your Child’s Asthma During the Fall Months

During the fall, ragweed pollen counts can go sky high. What is pollen? Pollen is made up of tiny, egg-shaped granules that come from certain flowering plants, such as trees, grasses, and weeds, and it can cause—or at least worsen—asthma symptoms. In the fall, ragweed and other weed pollens are the biggest culprits when it comes to triggering breathing problems. These plants tend to have small, light, and dry pollens that are easily spread to other areas by wind currents. Outdoor molds can also trigger breathing problems at this time of year.

Here are some tips for reducing contact with weed pollens and molds.

• Keep your child indoors as much as possible on hot, breezy days when pollen counts may be at their highest. Keep car and house windows closed. Turn on the air conditioning if you need it to keep cool.

• Don’t hang clothing outside to dry. Pollen granules can collect on the clothing and trigger symptoms when brought inside.

• Don’t let your child play in, rake, or walk through fall leaves. Mold spores often collect in fallen leaves.

If your child’s breathing problems worsen with fall seasonal triggers, it is essential that you make sure he or she keeps taking his or her preventive/controller medicine. However, if symptoms do worsen—even with the controller medicine—don’t hesitate to use your child’s quick-relief (rescue) medicine.

If your child isn’t on a controller medicine right now, then this is a good time to ask your child’s doctor whether this type of treatment might be right for him or her.

An Asthma Action Plan is a great way to plan ahead for the possibility of worsening symptoms. It will help you know how and when to take action to help keep your child healthy throughout this time of year. It will also help you know when to call the doctor.

Remember… it’s up to you to take action now to help protect your child from having breathing problems during the fall months.

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