Family trips, the flu, various appointments—these are the reasons commonly given by students seeking excused school absences. But allergies and asthma? Though it might sound odd, Sennett Middle School’s Health Office recently cited allergies and asthma as the top causes of missed school days in middle school-aged children.
Deemed the “National Asthma and Allergy Awareness Month” by the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA), May can be a challenging time for those suffering these ailments. Though this month’s sunny, warm days tempt most of us to spend increasing amounts of time outside, those with asthma and allergies should be careful.
Today, one in 14 people have asthma. And allergies are affecting more and more of the population, too: approximately 40 percent of children and 30 percent of adults experience allergies. Asthma is also widely prevalent. Recent studies show the largest rise in asthma is among African American children, with nearly 17 percent of this group suffering the ‘springtime sniffles.’
Though some might consider asthma an innocuous affliction, it’s actually the cause of 3,630 deaths in America annually. Sennett’s Health Office indicates that many of these deaths are preventable, however. Specifically, those with asthma should learn their triggers. For me, it’s pollen and cold weather. For others, triggers include dust, stress, exercise, smoke, and chemicals.
If learning one’s triggers isn’t enough, various long-term treatments exist that can help control or even eliminate symptoms. If you’re suffering, talk with your health care provider to establish a treatment plan.
With knowledge and proper care, May can be an enjoyable month for all—even those with allergies and asthma.
[source: Sennett Middle School Newsletter]