Children and Autumn Asthma Triggers
What is an asthma attack?
An asthma attack happens when your body’s airways swell. Less air gets in and out of your lungs. The attack may include:
- Chest tightness
- Trouble breathing
What causes an asthma attack?
Seasonal changes, particularly spring and fall, can bring about allergy and asthma symptoms. The most common early fall allergens, or triggers, are weed pollens —especially ragweed and mold spores.
However, many different things can trigger an asthma attack. Some common causes are:
- Very hot or cold weather
- Changes in the season
- The common cold
- Exposure to tobacco smoke
- Air pollution and strong odors
- Some medications
- Other common allergens, including pollen, pets, dust mites and mold.
My child’s asthma is getting worse this fall. What can I do?
If seasonal changes trigger your child’s asthma, pay attention to pollen and mold counts which are often mentioned during local weather forecasts on radio and television.
Here are some ways to work around the pollen and mold counts:
- When counts are high, stay indoors as much as you can
- When indoors or in the car, keep the windows closed
- Plan to change the air filter for your heating/air conditioning unit regularly
If your child is having an increase in allergy or asthma symptoms, be sure to talk to your child’s pediatrician. The doctor will determine if your child needs to take or change allergy or asthma medications.
In addition, work with your pediatrician to develop an asthma action plan. The plan will give you a handy reference on how to avoid asthma triggers and what to do when symptoms occur.