Halloween can be scary, and even dangerous, at times. Parents of children who have asthma, or who have skin allergies, need to be especially careful as they celebrate Halloween. Certain things that your children encounter on this holiday could hold hidden asthma and allergy triggers.
Haunted houses, and spooky costumes, help people have some scary fun on Halloween. Few things can be more terrifying, though, than having to rush your child to the emergency room because he or she is having a severe asthma or allergy attack. It can be especially upsetting when you have no idea what triggered the attack.
Parents of kids with allergies, or asthma, probably are taking certain types of precautions on Halloween. You closely examine the “treats”, so that your child doesn’t end up eating a food or ingredient that he or she is allergic to. You carry epi-pens, allergy medication, and inhalers with you as you take your child trick-or-treating. These are wise decisions.
Fog machines might be used to give extra “atmosphere” to a Halloween party or haunted house. These machines use chemicals, that are spread into the air. Some of these chemicals can cause kids who are sensitive to have an asthma attack. The particles can irritate the lining of your child’s airways.
Costumes can also cause problems. Shiny accessories like pirate swords and tiaras, can contain nickel. This metal is one of the most common causes of allergic contact dermatitis. Watch to see if your child starts scratching, and check for any rashes that may have popped up.
Other costumes might contain latex, which will cause problems for kids with latex allergies. The best way to find out if a costume contains latex is to read the label. When in doubt, choose a different costume for your child to wear, instead.
Costumes that have been kept in storage, (but not in an airtight container), may be filled with dust mites and mold. These are two things that can cause allergic reactions. Some kids have severe dust or mold allergies that can cause an asthmatic reaction to occur. Make sure you wash all costumes in hot water before you let your child dress up for Halloween.
Does your child’s costume include a mask? This could be problematic for kids with asthma. Tight fighting masks make it hard to breathe. You might want to have your child use face paint instead of a mask, but this can also cause problems. It is a good idea to test out makeup on a small area of your child’s skin first. This could help determine if your child is allergic to that particular type of makeup.
Image by ghostdad on Flickr