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Capital Area Pediatrics
Posted on 09/28/2017 16:11

It Welcoming a new season is always an exciting time, especially with the arrival of autumn. The autumn season means cooler weather, falling leaves, football, and scarves and sweaters. But every changing season has its downside. For autumn, that means allergy season is here, which affects both children and adults. Some struggle during this time of year with allergies and colds floating around, but those with asthma tend to have a more difficult time. Here are a few ways to understand what triggers flare ups and how to keep your child’s asthma in check this fall.

 

Fall Allergies

What about this season affects asthma? Common allergens that float around during the fall are sometimes to blame, as they can trigger asthma symptoms in children. These are mostly made up of weed pollens, which are known to be more abundant during the late summer and early fall. Some of these weed pollens include ragweed, tumbleweed, Russian thistle, pigweed, sagebrush, and more.

Prevent these allergens from affecting your child by having them stay inside as much as possible, especially between 10:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m., when pollen is more likely to be floating around. It’s also a good idea to keep windows closed both at home and when you’re driving around in the car.

 

Mold

Just like weed pollen, mold spores are also out and about during this time of year and can affect children with asthma. Because mold can be found both inside your home and outdoors, it’s always a good idea to be aware of its presence and do what you can to prevent it from being a problem for your child.

Keeping your windows closed and placing a dehumidifier in your basement to reduce moisture will help prevent mold from appearing or spreading. When outside, beware of a type of mold called Alternaria. When playing in leaves or enjoying a hayride through a pumpkin farm, have your child wear a mask or scarf to protect their mouth or nose from any mold spores in the leaves and hay.

 

Colds and the Flu

Fall also means viruses are more likely to be floating around your child’s school. The flu and other respiratory infections can strongly affect children with asthma and worsen its symptoms.

One of the best ways to protect your child from the flu is getting a flu shot. Flu shots are essential to help lessen the severity of the illness. If your child comes down with a cold, make sure to schedule an appointment with their pediatrician for information on the severity of the cold  and any best practices for fighting it off.

 

Have An Action Plan

No matter how severe the diagnosis and no matter what triggers your child’s asthma, an action plan is a must. An action plan is developed with a doctor, ensuring that information and steps to address flare-ups are documented in writing and readily available to your family and caregivers. Action plans include notes about daily treatments and medicines, tips for control asthma symptoms, and guidelines on when to call for medical assistance during an asthma flare-up or attack.

 

Having asthma isn’t easy, but it shouldn’t ruin your child’s fun this autumn! Following fall precautionary procedures and checking in with your child’s pediatrician will help them and you with your asthma concerns. At Capital Area Pediatrics, our team can help you and your child schedule an appointment to address any of their asthma concerns this season. To schedule an appointment with a pediatrician, find your nearest location and our staff will be happy to help you and your child!

Image courtesy of pixabay.com

Posted on 08/29/2017 19:24

A back to school physical exam is a great way to keep your children healthy. Summer vacation is coming to a close, and students and their parents are preparing for another school year. While juggling school supply shopping, activity sign-ups, and any last minute summer trips, it can be easy to forget to schedule a back to school physical for your child. Many schools require physicals prior to the school year, and plenty of sports and school activities require one as well. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that all children between ages 5 and 18 have a physical exam once a year.

But while physicals are somewhat of a requirement, they can also provide valuable feedback and information on the growth and health of your child - which is far more important! Mandatory or not, here are a few reasons why a visit to the pediatrician before the first day of school can set your student up for success in the coming year.

  • For Student Athletes: Children who are participating in any fall sports will need to have a check-up prior to the start of their season or by the first day of school to make sure they are healthy and ready to play. Pediatricians can address any injury concerns you may have as well as provide input on healthy exercise and training routines that will work best for your athlete. The doctor will also perform routine checks often performed in a physical, like height, weight, blood pressure, immunizations, medications, and more. Typically, many sports require a physical exam at least one month to 6 weeks prior to the start of the season. If your child is participating in any winter or spring sports, this is also good to keep in mind as the school year progresses.
  • For All Students: No matter what activities your student is involved in, having a routine physical prior to the start of the school year will help set them up for success. Aside from the routine check up procedures, the doctor may ask your students about study habits, friendships in school, problems with bullying, healthy eating, and involvement in after school activities. This is also an opportunity for your student to address any concerns they may have about their physical health, behavioral development, allergies, drug and alcohol use, anxiety, or depression. Any bad habits developed over the summer or since the child’s last check-up can be addressed and hopefully corrected prior to the first day of school.

Get your student off to a great start by scheduling a physical exam at the start of the new school year! At Capital Area Pediatrics, our team can help you and your child schedule a physical, and let your child address any concerns they may have about the upcoming year and their health. To schedule an appointment with a pediatrician, find your nearest location and our staff will be happy to help you and your child with your health care needs!

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