Help Kids Breathe Easier on Halloween

WEDNESDAY, Oct. 31 (HealthDay News) -- Allergy and asthma triggers lurk everywhere on Halloween, but some simple measures can keep children safe, an expert says.

Potential problems range from ingredients in candy to dust and chemicals in costumes, according to Dr. Stephen Apaliski, author of a book called "Beating Asthma: Seven Simple Principles."

Here he outlines some possible Halloween allergy and asthma triggers and how to avoid them:

Be aware that old costumes that have been stored for long periods can be full of dust mites and other allergens. It's also a good idea to check the labels on old and new costumes to find out if they contain any chemicals that may cause an allergic reaction.

Unless there's a way to guarantee that the ingredients are safe, tell your children to politely refuse any homemade treats people give out on Halloween.

Buy better quality makeup to avoid preservatives that are often used in cheaper types of makeup and can cause an allergic reaction. Test makeup on a small area of skin before Halloween and check for rashes or other skin reactions, Apaliski said.

Look out for real and manmade fog, which can trigger asthma symptoms.

Avoid dusty, moldy pumpkins that could trigger an allergic reaction. Buy pumpkins at a store and wash them before you carve and decorate them.

More information

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention offers Halloween health and safety tips.

SOURCE: Smith Publicity, news release. Oct. 25, 2012

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