Holiday Decorations and your Allergies/Asthma

By: Mona L. Welz, FNP

Ahhh-Chooo! Do your holiday decorations make you sneeze? Not to worry we have some tips and tricks for our beloved allergy sufferers!

Fact: Both real and artificial trees/holiday decorations can trigger allergic and non-allergic asthma and allergy symptoms. By sticking with a few simple rules, you too can rejoice in this upcoming holiday season with either option while remaining symptom free!

Tips to help reduce artificial tree allergy and asthma symptoms:

  • Wear a mask when bringing decorations out of storage.
  • Clean dust from artificial Christmas trees and other holiday decorations before displaying.
  • Remember that glass, metal and plastic decorations are easier to keep dust-free than soft fabric ones.
  • Follow directions carefully when spraying artificial snow or flocking. Inhaling these sprays can irritate your lungs and trigger asthma symptoms.
  • After the holiday season, store your tree properly in a dry, cool space to prevent dust form accumulating.
holiday decorations

Tips to help reduce live tree/decoration allergy and asthma symptoms:

  • Shake and or rinse off as much debris as possible out of the tree before bringing it inside.
  • Leave the tree somewhere warm to dry for a couple of days before bringing it into the house. Or consider spraying foliage with a mix of water and a small amount of bleach. The bleach-water solution kills growing mold spores while washing away any leftover grime. It will not harm the tree. *Avoid taking this step if you have pets in your home because they may accidentally ingest this solution by gnawing on the tree.
  • Mold accumulates the longer your live tree stays indoors. Considering taking your live tree down sooner.
  • Running an air cleaner in the same room as the tree can theoretically reduce the mold and allergen exposure.