Will your holiday guests have allergies or asthma? Here are some tips for a happy, allergy-free holiday.

by James Hubbard, M.D., M.P.H.

Your mother-in-law is coming to visit and she’s ALLERGIC TO YOUR CAT?  Potential disaster on the horizon.  Alleviate situation like this by following some simple tips from the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology.

  • Ask about food allergies before planning a menu. Remember that even trace amounts of an offending food can trigger an allergic reaction. Keep track of ingredients used and avoid cross-contamination by thoroughly washing utensils, cookware and food storage between uses.
  • Dust and vacuum regularly in the weeks leading up to the gathering. This will help minimize dust mites, animal dander and other potential allergy triggers. Don’t forget to vacuum upholstered furniture and drapery.
  • Replace furnace air filters so they can properly trap allergens.
  • Clean guest rooms thoroughly the day before visitors arrive, including dusting, vacuuming and washing sheets and pillowcases in hot water.
  • If visitors are sensitive to animals, keep all pets out of guests’ rooms. Do not allow cats or dogs to rub against guests or climb in their laps. If necessary, keep pets confined to another area of the house, such as the basement.
  • Limit fragrant candles, plants and potpourris as many allergic people are sensitive to these odors. Apply perfume conservatively, as well.
  • Don’t burn wood in the fireplace. Smoke and ash can provoke breathing difficulty or an asthma attack. Also, request guests smoke cigarettes outdoors.

They have further tips and allergy-free recipes on their Web site.

Can you think of more tips?

Image courtesy, Luis Miguel Bugallo Sánchez.

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14 Responses to “Will your holiday guests have allergies or asthma? Here are some tips for a happy, allergy-free holiday.”

  1. Super Healthy Kids Says:

    Thanks for the ideas. My 5 year old has some severe animal allergies. I didn’t realize that about candles too. I think I might have to get rid of some.

  2. James Hubbard, M.D., M.P.H. Says:

    Good idea. They can be a problem.

  3. DR Says:

    Most “commercial” candles are petroleum based…Think about that the next time you sit and sniff that scented candle…like sniffing gasoline.

    DRs last blog post..Pan Seared Sea Bass with Herbed Quinoa & Baby Carrots

  4. Judy Rodman Says:

    Great ideas, and I can attest that they work. My vocal students are often allergic to things; I keep my house vacuumed, dusted and keep fragrances to a minimum, keep pets out of the office space most of the time and I’ve never had a problem with either a cat or dog causing a reaction in a student unless they touch the animal :)

    I also refrain from those awful rug deodorizers and air fresheners, with the sole exception of “Fabrize”. I use even that very sparingly.

    Judy Rodmans last blog post..Advice from entertainment lawyer Cheryl L. Slay

  5. James Hubbard, M.D., M.P.H. Says:

    DR. Thanks for the additional info. I didn’t know that

  6. James Hubbard, M.D., M.P.H. Says:

    Judy, thanks for the extra tips.

  7. Steve Parker, M.D. Says:

    Remind visitors to bring their antihistamines or other allergy drugs.
    Great timing with your blog entry, in view of the upcoming holiday season.

    BTW, Dr. Hubbard, that’s pretty cool how other bloggers last post pops up automatically! I haven’t seen that before.


    Steve Parker, M.D.s last blog post..What Does an Advanced Mediterranean Dieter Eat?

  8. James Hubbard, M.D., M.P.H. Says:

    Thanks Dr. Parker. Good tip.
    The plugin that causes the last post to pop up is “comment luv” . It is a plugin on wordpress.

  9. Sagan Says:

    Great ideas. Not having allergies myself, I’m forgetful about how much they can affect people- thanks for the reminder!

    Sagans last blog post..Analyzing Stress and Control Issues

  10. James Hubbard Says:

    But does your mother-in-law, Sagan?

  11. Blake Says:

    I’ve been to holiday parties where my allergies/asthma has gone crazy. Thanks for reminding everyone to do what they can to help ease the problem!

    Blakes last blog post..Some Stuff For You To Read

  12. James Hubbard, M.D., M.P.H. Says:

    Your welcome, Blake. Thanks for adding your experience to the comments

  13. Dr. J Says:

    One of our guests has a “peanut” allergy! That has caused some scary moments for us all! Epi-pen locked and loaded, so to speak. Thank you for this information!

  14. James Hubbard Says:

    Don’t blame you Dr. J.

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