Immediately after the Thanksgiving table has been cleared and the dishes put away, my kids race to the attic and bring down box after box of holiday decorations. The next day, we stroll through rows and rows of trees at a local tree farm and pick out this year’s favorite. Decking the halls makes the world seem magical. But it can also trigger asthma attacks for people who suffer from the lung condition.
The American Lung Association (ALA) published an article that exposes holiday asthma triggers and gives tips on how to mitigate them.
Three major culprits are artificial seasonal scents, dust and mold.
Holiday Scents: Candles, diffusers, air fresheners, potpourri, scented pinecones and artificially scented cinnamon sticks/brooms may bring on asthma attacks for some people. Instead of using items doused with artificial smells, the ALA suggests you make a natural potpourri on your stove that could include cinnamon sticks, cloves and nutmeg. Or create a natural potpourri with citrus and vanilla. If you like candles, opt for unscented or battery operated flameless candles.
Mold: If you’re using a real tree, be sure to shake it out before setting it up inside. The ALA also suggests that you hose it down and dry it off before bringing it into your home. Also, monitor the water and keep it clean to avoid mold growth.
Dust: If you use an artificial tree, beware of the dust. The ALA recommends cleaning it before you add the ornaments. Any holiday decoration can get dusty in storage, and just opening the boxes can cause asthma flares. Consider storing items in plastic or steel bins, as cardboard boxes can harbor dust and mold.
You can read about these great tips from the American Lung Association on their website.
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