Nearly one-fifth of all pediatric hospital admissions in Canada occur in the first weeks of the school year and Alberta Health Services (AHS) officials are asking parents and guardians to take steps to mitigate the risk.

According to AHS, between 20 and 25 per cent of all children who are hospitalized with asthma-related concerns each year are admitted in September.

To reduce the risk of an asthma flare-up and a possible hospital visit, AHS encourages parents and guardians to:

  • Ensure children are taking their asthma as prescribed, even when symptoms aren't present
  • Be aware of, and avoid, a child's asthma triggers
  • Ensure children practise proper hand-washing techniques
  • Seek medical attention when asthma symptoms persist

The common cold is the most likely asthma trigger and children are susceptible to contracting the virus when they're in close contact with other students, sharing food and drink with their friends, or exposed to seasonal changes in temperature, mould or germs.

For additional details on the disease, including links to air quality indexes, visit Alberta Health Services - Asthma