How to Have an Asthma Safe Halloween from LivingWithAsthma.net

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Avoid asthma attacks this fall with tricks from “Asthma Mom” Carolyn Roberts of LivingWithAsthma.net, and treats, too.

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If a child must wear a mask, make it a half mask allowing as much of their nose and mouth free as possible. While recycled costumes from years past seem like a good idea, they might not be.

Little do most people know, Halloween is one of the least asthma-friendly days of the year for asthmatic kids. So many asthma triggers can be found in the same things that make Halloween so much fun, including costumes, the weather, makeup, decorations and candy. Luckily, this year, Carolyn Roberts, the “Asthma Mom” and founder of new asthma resource LivingWithAsthma.net, is providing a list of “tricks” (things that could trigger a child’s asthma) and “treats” (safe alternatives) to help families prepare and have a safe and asthma-free night where the only scares are thanks to ghouls and goblins.

Costumes

  •     Trick – Mold, dust and latex products can be major asthma triggers. Even brand new store bought costumes could contain dust mites. Also, beware of costumes that include masks. Not only is it hard to breathe while wearing one, they can easily trap dust.
  •     Treat – If a child must wear a mask, make it a half mask allowing as much of their nose and mouth free as possible. While recycled costumes from years past seem like a good idea, they might not be. New or old, all costumes should be washed in hot water before wearing to help rid them of dust mites. Better yet, get creative and make an outfit out of clothes the kids already have. Not only will it be asthma safe, it will be cost efficient too. Example: Yellow duct tape stripes on a black t-shirt and black leggings; add a crown and voila… instant Queen Bee!

Decorations

  •     Trick – While houses with spooky graveyards and smoke are cool, they are certainly not a welcoming place for a person with asthma. Fog, manmade or real, is a huge asthma no-no. While it may create a fun Halloween atmosphere that beckons a child, best to avoid it as the chemicals used to make that foggy fake smoke can irritate the lungs. Mold spores and pollen from leaf piles, haystacks, scarecrows or pumpkins can easily stir up asthma as well. Some cheaply made plastic decorations may even contain volatile organic compounds (VOCs), which can also initiate asthma attacks.
  •     Treat – Instead of using hay, stuff old clothes with newspaper to make scarecrows. Buy pumpkins at the grocery store instead of the pumpkin patch and be sure to wash and dry them before allowing little ghouls to carve them. Instead of using sheets, which can contain dust mites to make ghost decorations, use old socks. For a sock ghost, stuff one sock into the toe of another and tie it with string. Then have the child decorate their ghosts with old buttons, ribbons, and other forgotten items from the bottom of the craft drawer. Hang the ghosts and varying lengths from the ceiling or stoop. Instant, asthma-safe, Boo effect.

Weather

  •     Trick – Cold air, humidity plus running around from door to door can make breathing hard for asthmatics.
  •     Treat – Make sure that the child is dressed appropriately. If that means little Superman has to wear a long sleeve shirt under his cape, so be it. Just tell him that having his street clothes on under his costume is great in case he has to hide his secret identity. And always make sure to bring their rescue inhaler along…just in case.

For more useful tips like these, including what to do about makeup and candy, check out LivingWithAsthma.net’s related posts at the links below:

  •     “10 Tips to an Asthma-Safe Halloween Part I”:

http://www.livingwithasthma.net/10-tips-to-an-asthma-safe-halloween-part-i/

  •     “10 Tips to an Asthma-Safe Halloween Part II”:

http://www.livingwithasthma.net/10-tips-to-an-asthma-safe-halloween-part-ii/

  •     “Fall Favorite for Asthma: Pumpkins, They’re Not Just For Carving!:

http://www.livingwithasthma.net/fall-favorite-asthma-pumpkins-carving/

About LivingWithAsthma.net:

LivingWithAsthma.net is a new online community seeking to empower families of children with asthma. It covers topics from one mother to another, including home remedies, practical lifestyle changes that can reduce triggers, medication reviews and more. LivingWithAsthma.net seeks to raise awareness for the disease and create a community forum for mothers to discuss their experiences and triumphs in living with an asthmatic child.

Media contact:
Kelley Coughlan
Melrose PR
Kelley(at)melrosepr(dot)com
(310)260-7901
http://www.melrosepr.com

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Melrose PR
(310) 260-7901
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