Allergies and asthma often translate into missed school days for kids.
According to the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology classrooms often have more allergy and asthma triggers than home, which for some children can impact school performance.
“There have been lots of studies that have actually shown that kids in school with allergies have a really hard time concentrating,” says Sandra Hong, M.D., an allergist at Cleveland Clinic. “There’s also been some other studies showing that they don’t perform to their abilities in sports.”
Classroom Allergy Triggers
Schools and classrooms may contain pollen, mold and dust mites – all allergy and asthma triggers that can cause adverse reactions in susceptible kids.
If a child is highly allergic, doctors recommend parents talk to the school about keeping windows closed when pollen counts are high, repairing water fixtures that are leaking, and asking about installation of high efficiency air filters.
Classmates who may have pets at home also are potential triggers as they may carry their pet’s dander to school, causing children who sit nearby to experience allergy symptoms.
Hong recommends parents take a good look around their child’s classroom and pay special attention to furry classroom pets.
“It can actually worsen asthma, it can worsen allergies,” she says. “So, in that situation you want to find a way to separate them. So, either the pet is outside or your child is in another classroom.”
When in Doubt, Get it Checked Out
It’s easy to confuse the common cold and allergies this time of year.
Hong says a good rule of thumb is if your child comes home from school with a runny nose, coughing and sneezing for more than two weeks, it’s worth talking to your pediatrician about allergies and asthma.
Article courtesy of Cleveland Clinic News Service.