Asthma Halloween Safety

(October 31, 2012)

8 Tips for Parents of Children with Asthma

Keep this Halloween focused on tricks and treats by being proactive about managing your child’s asthma before trick or treating. Halloween can be a scary time for kids with asthma, food allergies  and allergic rhinitis as triggers are found in the very things that make Halloween so much fun, including candy, costumes, makeup and decorations. Here are a few safety tips to keep your child having fun this Halloween:

Candy – If your child has food allergies, make sure you have a chance to check their goodies before your child eats any of their loot. Have your child eat a good dinner before going out so he/she can wait until they get home to have a treat.  If your child has been prescribed an Epi Pen (autoinjectable epineprine), make sure to have it with them.

Costumes - If your child is wearing a costume that has been stored for a while, be sure to wash it. Stored costumes can collect dust, molds and dust mites that can all be triggers for children with asthma.

Masks - For children with asthma, avoiding masks is best. Some masks can be made from products such as latex, which can trigger an asthma episode. Masks also decrease airflow, making it hard to breathe and might also allow other triggers to get trapped.

Makeup - Hypoallergenic makeup is the safest alternative for children with asthma. Many Halloween makeups can have smells and dyes that can irritant your lungs and skin.

Inhaler - Make sure you bring your child’s quick reliever inhaler while trick or treating in case your child’s asthma does worsen. If your child has had problems in the past at Halloween, consider pre-medicating with the quick-reliever inhaler before your child goes out for the evening.

Hay Rides - Avoid hay rides for children with asthma as hay is a common allergy trigger that could cause an exacerbation. Hay rides are a fun part of Halloween, but try celebrating with a different activity for your child with asthma.

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 or online at the Air Quality Index for Minnesota.

Entering Homes – Don’t let your child enters anyone’s home while out trick or treating; it is not only a good safety measure, but unknown pets and cigarette smoke could triggers your child’s asthma.
If you have questions about keeping your child with asthma safe this Halloween visit or call the Lung Helpline at 1-800-LUNG-USA.