Don’t Let Allergies and Asthma Haunt Your Halloween Fun
An unwanted cavity in your child’s sweet tooth isn’t the only health concern that haunts the Halloween season.
Hidden health hazards can be lurking not only in candy, but in costumes, haunted houses and jack-o-lanterns, especially when little ghosts and goblins have allergies and asthma.
“Parents that have a child with a food allergy know to carefully inspect Halloween candy, but they may overlook other common holiday items that can cause allergy and asthma symptoms,” said allergist Stanley Fineman, MD, president of the American College of allergy, Asthma and Immunology.
“There are several steps parents should take to ensure their child remains healthy and symptom-free no matter the season.” The allergists at the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (ACAAI) compiled the following list of the common Halloween allergens with tips on how to avoid them.
• Bloodcurdling Scream to Frightening Wheeze – Haunted houses may be scary fun, but they can cause real-life fright if your child can’t breathe easily.
Excitement and anxiety provoked by zombies, ghouls and goblins can sometimes trigger asthma symptoms if your child’s asthma isn’t properly controlled.
Running from house to house in search of treats can also trigger symptoms. If your child has asthma or exercise-induced bronchoconstriction (EIB) be sure they carry emergency medicine, such as a quick-relief inhaler, and use it regularly as prescribed to prevent symptoms.
• The Land of Milk and Stuffy – Halloween is a tricky time if your child has food allergies, especially to peanuts.
But dairy, wheat and eggs are also common allergens found in different candies and other Halloween treats.
Read product labels carefully before letting you child indulge in their sweets.
Also, if you suspect your little one has a food allergy, make sure to see an allergist for testing to identify all of your child’s triggers far in advance of Halloween festivities.
• Petrifying Pumpkins – Jack-o-lanterns might be more than just a scary face if you have an allergy to pumpkin.
Although a pumpkin allergy is rare, it can develop at any time, suggests research from the Annals of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology.
Anything from carving a pumpkin or munching on seeds can cause an allergic reaction with symptoms that can include chest tightness, hives and vomiting.
If you experience symptoms, tell your allergist.
• Horrifying Wardrobe Malfunctions – From the dusty clown costume that was retrieved from the attic to the mask made of latex to the nickel in jewelry, swords and other accessories, Halloween dress up can be a land mine of allergy and asthma triggers.
Dress your allergic child wisely.
Some kids also have contact dermatitis which can be caused from the preservatives in makeup.
If you’re not sure what triggers your child’s allergies, see an allergist who can help pinpoint the problem.
• Menacing Mold - While jumping through piles of leaves can be tempting for your little one as they are trick-or-treating, it can also be harmful.
Molds, such as Alternaria, are commonly found on leaves this time of year and can cause severe asthma attacks.
Running through leaves can cause mold to stir into the air, resulting in high exposure.
Plan ahead and talk with your allergist about seasonal allergy and asthma triggers, and how they can be avoided.
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A friendly faced jack o' lantern is perched atop the Halloween Water Tower and because the tower is 11 inches tall can be seen from everywhere in the village.
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Did you know that it is the protein in many foods that cause food allergies?
Allergies and asthma are serious diseases, that when left untreated, can be dangerous.
If parents suspect their child has one of these conditions, they should make an appointment with a board-certified allergist to develop a treatment plan that may go beyond over-the-counter medications.
For more information and to find an allergist, visit
About ACAAI: The ACAAI is a professional medical organization headquartered in Arlington Heights, Ill., that promotes excellence in the practice of the subspecialty of allergy and immunology.
The College, comprising more than 5,700 allergists-immunologists and related health care professionals, fosters a culture of collaboration and congeniality in which its members work together and with others toward the common goals of patient care, education, advocacy and research. For more information, visit
Released: 9/28/2012 1:00 PM EDT
Newswise — ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. (September 28, 2012)
Source: American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (ACAAI)
Christine Westendorf - Media Relations Manager - American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (ACAAI) - 847.427.1200 - email@example.com
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