Hidden Halloween health hazards lurk

Oct. 14, 2012 at 8:55 PM
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ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill., Oct. 14 (UPI) -- There are lots of hidden health hazards lurking not only in Halloween candy, but costumes, haunted houses and jack-o-lanterns, U.S. allergists say.

"Parents that have a child with a food allergy know to carefully inspect Halloween candy, but they may overlook other common holiday items that can cause allergy and asthma symptoms," Dr. Stanley Fineman, president of the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology, said in a statement.

From the dusty clown costume retrieved from the attic to the mask made of latex to the nickel in jewelry, swords and other accessories, Halloween dress-up can be a landmine of allergy and asthma triggers, Fineman said.

Dress an allergic child wisely -- some kids also have contact dermatitis, which can be caused by preservatives in makeup, Fineman said.

Haunted houses may be scary fun, but they can cause real-life fright if your child can't breathe easily, and the excitement and anxiety provoked by zombies, ghouls and goblins can sometimes trigger asthma symptoms if a child's asthma isn't properly controlled.

Running from house to house in search of treats can also trigger symptoms. If your child has asthma or exercise-induced bronchoconstriction be sure they carry emergency medicine, such as a quick-relief inhaler, and use it regularly as prescribed to prevent symptoms, Fineman advised.

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