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Five Surprising Allergy and Asthma Triggers that Spoil Summer Fun (May 10, 2012)
Health Risks Greater for Asthmatic Baby Boomers over Age 60 (May 1, 2012)
Free Asthma and Allergy Screenings Offered Nationwide (April 23, 2012)
Record Pollen Counts Cause Even More Misery (March 20, 2012)
What Four Factors Influence the Severity of Allergy Season? (March 8, 2012)
Are You Making Your Spring Allergies Worse? (March 1, 2012)
Almost Half of Asthma Sufferers Not Using Needed Controller Medications (Feb. 25, 2012)
ACAAI Recognizes Teva Respiratory for its Support of Important Respiratory Initiatives
Aspirin-Exacerbated Respiratory Disease Linked to Childhood Second-Hand Smoke Exposure (December 19, 2011)
Six Tips to Ensure Allergies And Asthma Don't Ruin Holiday Cheer (December 2011)
Thanksgiving Holiday Stuffed with Allergy, Asthma Triggers (November, 2011)
Unplug Indoor Pollutants for a Breath of Fresh Air (November 6, 2011)
Love Your Pet Not Your Allergy? (November 6, 2011)
Wine May Please the Palate but Not the Immune System (November 5, 2011)
Research Examines Asthma Control and Anaphylaxis Guidelines to Improve Outcomes for Adults with Allergies and Asthma (November 5, 2011)
Research Highlights New Interventions, Recommendations for Controlling Allergies & Asthma in Children (November 5, 2011)
Allergy Shots Fast-Track Relief and Cut Costs (November 3, 2011)
Don't Let Allergies, Asthma Spoil Halloween Fun (October 1, 2011)
Mold Exposure During Infancy Increases Asthma Risk (August 2, 2011)
Study Up for Sneeze and Wheeze-Free School Year (August 1, 2011)
Global Warming Extends Ragweed Allergy Season (July 28, 2011)
Childhood Asthma Linked to Depression during Pregnancy (July 5, 2011)
Allergists Update Stinging Insect Guidelines (June 16, 2011)
Don't Let Allergies, Asthma Spoil a Summer Soiree (June 15, 2011)
Cure Summertime Allergies - It's Worth a Shot (June 5, 2011)
Athletes with Allergies, Asthma Can Play it Safe (June 1, 2011)
Flood Water Can Make Air In Homes Unhealthy (April 29, 2010)
Free Screenings Launch in May's National Asthma Awareness Month
Pregnancy anemia linked to childhood wheezing and asthma (March 10, 2011)
Spring allergy Sufferers: Be Wary of Treatment Myths, March 4, 2011
Most Americans Recognize Allergies are Serious, Don't Know Who Should Treat Condition
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Study up for a Sneeze and Wheeze-Free School Year 

Make the Grade by Avoiding Asthma, Allergy Triggers Lurking in the Classroom

ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. (August 1, 2011) - The new school year means new clothes, new classes, new teachers – and the same old misery due to sneezing and wheezing for children who have allergies or asthma. From the class hamster to dust mites residing in carpet to germs from cold and flu viruses, asthma and allergy triggers lurk throughout the classroom.  

It’s not so surprising, then, that back-to-school season is associated with a 46 percent increase in asthma-related emergency department visits by grade school children. And allergies and asthma account for more than 14 million school day absences. But seeing an allergist can keep kids in the classroom: studies show patients treated by allergists for asthma have better symptom control, including less wheezing and fewer absences, at lower costs.

“To keep kids focused on their studies instead of their allergy and asthma symptoms, it’s important that they see an allergist for proper diagnosis and treatment, as well as work with their parents to develop a plan for avoiding classroom triggers,” said allergist Dr. Myron Zitt, past president of the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (ACAAI).

Make sure your child doesn’t suffer or miss school by following the below advice from the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (ACAAI) and its allergist members. 

  • Dust and mold and pollen, oh my – Many common triggers lie in wait for the allergic student. Dust mites and other allergens multiply in the class carpet, so suggest your child sit in a chair to read a book. Mold can grow in bathrooms and other dank areas, but are easily cleaned if brought to the janitor’s attention. And ask teachers to keep windows closed this fall and next spring to keep sneeze-prompting pollens out of the classroom. 
  • The germ incubator – It’s tough for the child with asthma to avoid germs at school, since they are pretty much everywhere from the pencil sharpener to the edge of the teacher’s desk. The best defense is a good offense, so be sure your child gets a seasonal flu shot.  Washing hands regularly and using tissues and antibacterial hand sanitizers also can help. 
  • Tag, you’re – huff, puff – it Jumping jacks during gym, tag during recess, soccer after school – these and other common school activities can trigger exercise-induced bronchoconstriction (EIB), commonly referred to as exercise induced asthma. About 80 percent to 90 percent of those with asthma have EIB and 10 percent of people without asthma have EIB.  If your child has difficulty breathing during or after exercise, see an allergist who can work with you on a prevention and treatment plan. Be sure to give teachers, from gym to homeroom, a heads up and make sure your child has medication available at school.  
  • Fear of furry friends Kids love class pets, but many have allergies to the hairy or furry variety. Allergic children should be reminded not to touch the pet. You also might suggest the teacher consider a non-furry pet, such as fish or a hermit crab, which offer plenty of learning opportunities without the allergy-triggering dander. Children who have pets at home also may have pet dander on their clothes, triggering symptoms in a pet-allergic child. A new seat assignment may help. 
  • Food safety patrol – If your child has food allergies, potential problems can crop up almost anywhere, from the lunchroom to the classroom. Tell the teacher about foods that cause problems for your child. Also be sure to alert scouting and other club leaders, and suggest an allergen-free snack policy). It‘s also important to teach your child about what foods might trigger a reaction and advise them to ask a teacher or adult before eating food they are unsure about. Share a plan with teachers, coaches and the school nurse for dealing with an allergic emergency and make sure your child has medications with them like injectable epinephrine.  
  • The back of the class – Sitting at the front of the classroom – near the chalkboard – is a bad idea for kids whose allergies or asthma are triggered by chalk dust. And washing hands after writing on the chalk board is a must.

If your child is sneezing, wheezing and itching at school and you’re not sure why, see an allergist to find out what’s causing the problem and find relief.  For more information about allergies in children, asthma in children, and to find an allergist or take a self-relief test visit www.AllergyAndAsthmaRelief.org.

About ACAAI

The ACAAI is a professional medical organization headquartered in Arlington Heights, Ill., that promotes excellence in the practice of the subspecialty of allergy and immunology. The College, comprising more than 5,000 allergists-immunologists and related health care professionals, fosters a culture of collaboration and congeniality in which its members work together and with others toward the common goals of patient care, education, advocacy and research.

Consumers can take a simple online test to gauge their asthma symptoms, obtain a personalized plan on how to get relief and find an allergist at www.AllergyAndAsthmaRelief.org

 

 
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