Don’t Get Spooked by Asthma, American Lung Association Shares Asthma Management Tips for Halloween
Simple Tips Can Help Children with Asthma Enjoy a Safe, Healthy Halloween
(October 20, 2016) - CHICAGO
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It's almost Halloween – a time for ghosts and ghouls and all things scary. But one thing that shouldn't be scary is your child's asthma. Traditional Halloween activities can be filled with unexpected triggers for asthma symptoms, but with tips from the American Lung Association you can avoid asthma symptoms.
"Halloween activities can be filled with asthma triggers that many parents wouldn't suspect, like masks or makeup," said Brian W. Christman, M.D., volunteer spokesperson for the American Lung Association. "With a little planning and simple precautions, there's no reason children with asthma can't have a fun and healthy Halloween. The key is to be aware of and avoid triggers, and to carry quick-relief medication."
Keep your child healthy by following these tips:
- Frightful Fun. Hayrides and corn mazes, being scared in haunted houses and running through the neighborhood are part of Halloween fun, but they can also trigger asthma episodes. Make sure your child has their quick-relief medication with them at all times, and that they use it at the first sign of worsening symptoms.
- Unmask. Costumes and masks may contain latex, a known asthma trigger. Read the label before purchasing. For children with latex allergies, not wearing a mask is best, or wear a half-mask to make breathing easier.
- Minimize Makeup. The strong smell from makeup and hair dye could trigger asthma. Choose unscented, hypoallergenic products or skip them altogether.
- Leave the leaves alone. Fall leaves can be a staple of Halloween decorations – or just fun to jump in! But leaves can harbor molds and fungus which can be an asthma trigger for kids. To be safe, kids with allergies to molds or fungus should avoid raking, or jumping in leaves.
"Asthma is the third-leading cause of hospitalizations for children and the leading cause of school absenteeism. The good news is that asthma symptoms can be properly managed, allowing kids to live a full, healthy life," said Dr. Christman. "Speak with your healthcare provider about an asthma management plan to help recognize and avoid triggers."
Having asthma should not limit a child's ability to take part in fun activities – as long as they and their families are knowledgeable about the disease and have an asthma management plan to help recognize and avoid their triggers. The American Lung Association offers an online course Asthma Basics for anyone who wants to learn more about asthma and asthma management.
About the American Lung Association
The American Lung Association is the leading organization working to save lives by improving lung health and preventing lung disease, through research, education and advocacy. The work of the American Lung Association is focused on four strategic imperatives: to defeat lung cancer; to improve the air we breathe; to reduce the burden of lung disease on individuals and their families; and to eliminate tobacco use and tobacco-related diseases. For more information about the American Lung Association, a holder of the Better Business Bureau Wise Giving Guide Seal, or to support the work it does, call 1-800-LUNGUSA (1-800-586-4872) or visit: Lung.org.