Putting up the Christmas tree is one thing almost every child (and many adults!) look forward to each December.
It’s a sign that Christmas has well and truly arrived when Christmas trees start popping up in shopping centres, town squares and house windows. However, did you know that the humble Christmas tree can also irritate those with allergies or asthma?
Being allergic to Christmas tees is an illness many people suffer from and symptoms include coughing, wheezing, sneezing, sore eyes and asthma attacks.
Real Christmas trees such as Cypress and Pine trees can collect high amounts of pollen that is shed by other plants, and this pollen is what can irritate those with sensitive allergies once the tree is brought indoors.
National Asthma Council Australia Chief Executive Officer Siobhan Brophy said that that most people are unaware that real Christmas trees can harbour pollen and can trigger asthma and hay fever symptoms, especially when they are displayed indoors.
“Pollen can have a big impact causing your asthma symptoms to get worse.
“Artificial trees can be a safe alternative but, if used year after year, they accumulate dust, dust mites and even mould in storage,” Ms Brophy said.
“Even the most exciting part of the Christmas tree tradition – decorating – can put you at risk too, if decorations in storage have become dusty.
The National Asthma Council Australia recommends doing these things to minimise allergies and asthma attacks this holiday season.
- Hose down a live tree before bringing it inside to help wash off potential allergens.
- If you notice increased allergy symptoms once the tree is brought inside, move it outside.
- Give artificial trees a good shake outdoors to remove dust and debris before bringing it inside.
- Give artificial tree and decorations a vacuum before bringing them inside.
- Wipe down all artificial garlands and decorations with a damp cloth to get rid of dust.
- Use airtight bags and boxes to pack Christmas paraphernalia away each year.
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