Long before Halloween this year, major companies started their Christmas promotions. Many consumers found this offensive, but retailers claim they have to plan ahead for this big holiday that accounts for a substantial amount of their yearly profit.
When holidays approach, those with allergies should take some tips from retailers and consider how to meet the challenges posed by Halloween, Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Christmas, and New Year's. Between the decorations, the preparation, and the food, holidays can be tough if you want to avoid two months of sneezing and congestion for you or your sensitive child. Planning ahead allows you to plan strategies for the holidays that keep allergies down.
Clean With Care
As holidays approach, many people give their homes a thorough cleaning to prepare for family and friends who visit. Deep cleaning as well as weekly vacuuming, dusting, and mopping are important ways to keep allergens down, but cleaning poses its own risks.
- As you reorganize closets, wash windows, clean drapes, upholstery, and carpets, and wash down cabinets and furniture, you can raise dust locked in place by furniture and stored items that have not been moved for some time.
- You, like many diligent housekeepers, may use products with chemicals that release fumes and other emissions into the air. Consider using green products made with safer, natural ingredients.
- Since dust mites settle in bedding, washing sheets, pillowcases, and blankets in hot water at least every two weeks is a good idea even during busy holiday seasons. You might even want to invest in some allergen-resistant covers for pillows and mattresses.
Decorate Without Distress
When the cleaning is done, you concentrate your efforts on decorating your house. The results may look great, but there are some risks along the way for allergy sufferers.
- Decorations, even if you have them boxed, may be stored in dusty areas that you disturb and unleash allergens into the air. When you bring the decorations down from the attic, out of the garage, or up from the basement, vacuum off the boxes to prevent further dust proliferation.
- Even live decorations, such as wreathes or Christmas trees, can bring mold and mildew into the house. You can hose them down to kill live spores before you bring greenery into the house, but you might need to resort to artificial decorations.
- If you buy new decorations, they may contain VOCs and other chemicals that provoke allergies. Many small decorations from dollar stores and such are often cheap, imported, and unlabeled as to the contents. If you have an adverse reaction after bringing home a couple small pieces, you might want to consider involving your kids in making some homemade decorations where you can control the contents.
Plan Ahead For Allergy Treats
Part of the fun of the holiday is eating, as holiday dinners and get-togethers often include foods you don't always have year-round.
- Especially if you have kids, introducing them to new foods can create exciting new memories they will take with them throughout their lives. Since you do not want the memory to be that a holiday delicacy set off a terrible allergic reaction, you need to carefully monitor ingredients. This may mean finding new recipe variations without the gluten, nuts, and other allergy-triggers found in traditional recipes.
- If you have guests coming to your home and bringing food, ask them about the ingredients. If everyone in the home has the same allergies, share this information with visitors in advance.
- Planning to share a holiday meal at someone else's home? If you have allergies, inform the hostess and offer to bring something you can eat to supplement the meal.
- Make sure to keep allergy medications and Epi-pens on hand in case of unexpected allergy flare-ups. Some allergic reactions result in sneezing, but others can land you in the emergency room unless you are prepared.
Keep Allergens At Bay With Clean Filters
As holidays approach, your preparation, decoration, and menu planning can help keep the holidays festive and allergy free. By keeping your furnace and air filters clean, you can reduce the potential risks of flying dust and mold spores in the air from your cleaning and decorating efforts. Make sure to have a fresh furnace filter, air filter, and whole house filters on hand from Air Filter Buy. You can easily order a supply from our website or by calling (855) FILTBUY.