By Avery Keatley
The holiday season can be an exciting time for children and adults alike. Pulling out old decorations and reminiscing about years past is one of my favorite parts of the season. My family will exhume our decorations from the basement: bells, garlands, wreaths, bows and ornaments are placed with care around our house. But, bringing up these decorations after they’ve spent almost a year in the basement, could pose problems for those with allergies and asthma.
Prepping your house for the holiday is no small task. Here are some tips to make sure your holiday is safe and fun for everyone.
1) Wash everything. If you have fabric decorations, like a tree skirt or table runners that haven’t seen the light of day in eleven months, wash and dry them before you put them out. This will eliminate dust mites that may have found a new home in your decor.
2) Hold off on the Yule log. Smoke is a top asthma trigger. Be careful if you want to use your fireplace.
3) Fresh or fake? In a study by the ACAAI, real trees increased the mold spores in the air, which could lead to an asthma attack or worsen allergies. However, fake trees are also susceptible to mold, since they are often stored in basements or attics. Their advice is to shake the tree off outside before bringing it in for decorating.
4) De-stress. Holidays can be a hectic time, and stress can bring on an asthma attack. Try to make some time to relax by doing something you enjoy.
5) Scent sense. Some people love the smell of potpourri and strong candles, but people with asthma may be sensitive to strong scents. Try non-scented candles for family and guests with asthma.
What are some tips for making your home asthma and allergy friendly? Share your ideas in the comments!