Holiday Countdown: Decorating

Health Watch is a Public Service of the University News Bureau 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 holidays while protecting your health and safety. For people with allergies, holiday decorations can bring on a season of sneezing.

It’s not so much the decorations themselves that can trigger allergies as it is the things they bring with them into your home. Dr. Rebecca Gruchalla, an allergist at UT Southwestern Medical Center, says bringing decorations down from attics or in from garages or storage areas can stir up dust and mold. You should wipe down or wash decorations, including artificial Christmas trees, before you bring them inside. The kinds of trees sold at most lots and choose-and-cut farms don’t pollinate during the winter, but they may carry mold spores. Other possible seasonal allergy triggers include scented candles, wood for the fireplace and smoke from fires.

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December 2011

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