Health Watch - Holiday Hazards: Indoor Decor

Health Watch is a Public Service of the Office of News and Publications and is intended to provide general information only and should not replace the advice of a medical professional. You should contact your physician if you have questions about any of these topics.


This week on Health Watch, we’re talking about preparing for the holiday season. Previously, we talked about using a ladder safely when decorating the exterior of your home. But there are also things to keep in mind when decorating your home’s interior, especially if someone in your family suffers from allergies or asthma.

The Christmas tree can be a source of allergens. Dr. Rebecca Gruchalla, chief of allergy at UT Southwestern Medical Center, says you should avoid a live juniper tree because those pollinate during the holiday season. A better choice for allergy sufferers would be an artificial tree that’s stored in a dust-free environment. Wipe down ornaments to remove dust before putting them up. Scented candles, room sprays and other fragrances may also be allergy triggers. Fireplace wood can bring mold indoors, and some allergy sufferers might not be able to tolerate smoke from a fire.

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December 2010


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