GREENSBORO – Anyone that may be experiencing a spike is asthma symptoms this month, they're not alone. Experts say September is one of the worst times of the year for asthma episodes.
Holt Miller is among the 7 million children and adolescents in the U.S. who suffer from asthma. The condition is a lot for a 3-year-old to comprehend.
"Sometimes he can kind of tell us when he's having trouble breathing but he's still learning. He's at that age where when it happens sometimes he just kind of panics and it gets worse,” said his mother Haley Miller.
Holt takes medications daily and carries a rescue inhaler to school but his asthma flares up this time of the year.
"Right before a big cold front was coming in he had a runny nose at the doctor's office and my pediatrician said this is the worst possible time for him to have a runny nose with his asthma as bad as it is. Usually the congestion or a cold is what triggers his asthma,” said Haley Miller.
Dr. Holly Hanes, pulmonary specialist at Brenner Children's Hospital, said children are at greater risk of respiratory illnesses when they head back to school. Allergens abound both outdoors and indoors.
"Indoor allergens such as dust and molds, and with the increase in outdoor allergens with ragweed, pollen and the weather changes, all of these factors together can increase their risk of having more asthma symptoms," said Hanes.
Miller said thanks to medications she expects Holt to be a normal, active kid. Hanes said activity is critically important to a child's well being.
"It creates a vicious cycle when we limit activity on children with asthma, which leads to symptoms of them being more sedentary and then overweight and then their asthma is much more difficult to control," said Hanes.
Hanes said parents can't protect their child from every factor, but there are steps they can take to reduce the number and severity of episodes:
• Don't expose a child to second-hand smoke
• Ensure their child gets a flu shot
• Make sure their child's medications are up to date