Seven Halloween Tips for Parents of Children with Asthma
(October 23, 2014)
Halloween should be scary in a fun way. But an asthma attack can take the fun out of the night and make the scare far too real. To keep this Halloween focused on tricks and treats, parents of kids with asthma can be proactive about managing their child's asthma before trick or treating. Here are seven safety tips to keep your child having fun this Halloween:
Unmask - Costumes and masks may contain latex, a known asthma trigger. Read the label before purchasing. Not wearing a mask is best, or wear a half-mask to making breathing easier. If your child is wearing a costume that has been stored for a while, be sure to wash it. Stored costumes can collect dust, mold and dust mites that can cause asthma symptoms in children with asthma.
Frightful Fun - Hay rides, being scared in haunted houses and running through the neighborhood are part of Halloween fun, and can also trigger asthma. Make sure your child has their quick-relief inhaler with them at all times, and that they use it at the first sign of worsening symptoms.
Minimize Fragranced Products - The strong smell from costume makeup, hair dyes, and body and hair sprays could trigger asthma. Choose unscented, hypoallergenic products or skip them altogether.
Check the Candy - If your child has a food allergy that may trigger their asthma remove all the candy they may be allergic to. Read the labels closely – fun-size pieces may contain different ingredients than the full-size version.
Inhaler - Make sure your child brings their quick-relief inhaler while trick or treating, in case they have trouble breathing. If your child has had breathing problems in past Halloweens, talk to your child’s asthma care provider about pre-medicating before your child goes out for the evening.
Weather – Be sure to check the air quality on Halloween before sending your child outside. If cold air is a trigger, make sure to wear a scarf. You can check air quality by downloading the State of the Air App.
Entering Homes – Don't let your child enter anyone's home while out trick or treating. It's not only a good safety measure, but unknown pets and cigarette smoke could trigger your child's asthma.
If you have questions about keeping your child with asthma safe this Halloween, call the Lung HelpLine at 1-800-LUNGUSA.