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We're in 'peak week' for hospitalizations for children with asthma

Doctors identified the third week of September as the peak week for asthma attacks, hospitalizations and trips to the ER. Here's why.

SAN ANTONIO — At the start of the month, KENS 5 brought you the story of Logan Joubert.

The 6-year-old caught a cold the second day of school and became so sick, he spent weeks in the hospital.

His doctors at the Children's Hospital of San Antonio say the common cold triggered Joubert's severe asthma.

His mother, Lauren Douglas, pleaded with parents not to send their sick children to school."

It's not just a cold for my son. It may not be just a cold for someone else's child," Douglas explained. "My son couldn't fight a cold. He was on life support and I could have very well lost him."

RELATED: 'So scary that a cold did this': San Antonio boy hospitalized after common cold triggers asthma

Friday, September 16, Joubert was discharged from the hospital and is now back home. Following nearly a month of hospital care, his family started a GoFundMe page to raise money for his medical expenses.

"Logan has miraculously recovered quicker than anyone expected," said Douglas. 

Credit: Lauren Douglas
6-year-old Logan Joubert wearing a big smile just days before being discharged from the hospital.

According to the Allergy & Asthma Network, 25% of all children's asthma hospitalizations happen in September. Doctors identified the third week of September as the peak week for asthma attacks, hospitalizations and trips to the ER.

Experts with the Allergy & Asthma Network say the September asthma peak happens due to the start of school, high levels of allergens in the air, greater exposure to cold germs and viruses, and irregular asthma medication use from summer months.

"I've seen all sides of it and I know how we can educate, and Logan's is just the next story," said Paul Kloppe, an Asthma Educator and Supervisor for SA Kids BREATHE.

SA Kids BREATHE is a free 12-month asthma program housed within San Antonio's Metro Health.

"Our goal is to keep them out of the hospital, be in the schools so parents miss less work days. All those things play a component to allowing a better quality of life," said Kloppe.

Through SA Kids BREATHE, Kloppe talks with families one-on-one to teach how asthma affects children's lives and what solutions are best for each individual child.

"Every individual has different triggers, different needs, different ways we learn," Kloppe explained. "The biggest issue a lot of the time is you never know what's going to happen in the future."

The program also teaches the proper ways to use an inhaler.

RELATED: No, cold or rainy weather cannot make you sick

Even if parents may think they understand how an asthma medical device works, Kloppe suggests they take advantage of the free program. Odds are, families will learn something new and helpful for their child's wellbeing.

While hospitals focus on the urgent side of asthma, SA Kids BREATHE works on the chronic side to focus on prevention.

"We give them allergy covers free of charge for their pillows and mattresses, we give them cleaning kits that are all natural products," said Kloppe. "They can create their own cleaning products. We even give them a hydrometer to measure how much humidity is in the air."

Asthmatic children ages 3 to 17 who live in San Antonio are eligible for the free program.

"I hear that all the time. 'This is how asthma is affecting me'. I see the tears in some kids' eyes, and it's really heartwarming when you know you can change their lives a little bit," said Kloppe.

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SA Kids BREATHE recommends the following precautions for asthma sufferers:  

  • Know your or your child’s asthma triggers, including how common colds or increased physical activity can affect breathing
  • Download weather and city information apps to stay informed about high temperatures, humidity, pollen counts and pollution levels
  • Avoid outdoor activities during the hottest part of the day and on Ozone Action Days
  • Schedule a doctor visit to update your child’s Asthma Action Plan for the coming school year
  • Make sure that summer sports coaches and activity directors know about your child’s asthma
  • If traveling, place all medications in a clear resealable bag or other recognizable container; schedule refills in advance
  • When active outdoors, stay hydrated, wear loose-fitting clothing, rest periodically in a cool place and keep asthma medications handy

If you're interested in learning more about the free program, SA Kids Breathe, call 210-207-7282. 

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