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Why Do My Child's Allergies Or Asthma Flare-Up When They Go Back To School?

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During back to school in the fall, my child's allergies or asthma flare up. Why does this happen?

Several factors can contribute to asthma and allergy symptoms getting worse in children when they go back to school in the fall.

  1. There is a typical rise in certain viral infections during September each year. This is after school starts. It could cause a flare-up of symptoms. Also, children are around others who might be ill with viral illnesses. This can be a risk factor for your child becoming sick and allergy and asthma symptoms appearing.
  2. The change in season from summer to fall can cause more symptoms. In fact, there is an annual peak of asthma-related hospital stays in children. This happens in September each year.
  3. Children can be exposed to many more allergens when they go back to school in the fall. This includes weed pollen, mold, pet allergens, and dust among others. These allergens can trigger asthma and allergy symptoms.
  4. Indoor air quality is a serious concern in schools. Many school buildings are older and in poor condition. They need repair but may not have access to funds to improve their buildings.

Discuss these issues with your healthcare provider. Make sure you have an effective, written asthma and allergy action plan in place. This should be given to the school to document and use in case of an emergency.

Allergy, Asthma, School, Symptoms
Answered by

John M. James, MD, is a board-certified allergist. He is also President of Food Allergy Consulting and Education Services, LLC. He has worked as a medical specialist in the field of allergy, asthma, and immunology for over 30 years. Dr. James received his bachelor’s degree from the University of Arkansas and his Doctor of Medicine degree from the University of Tennessee. He is board certified by the American Board of Allergy and Immunology.

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