By now, you probably have your family’s allergy situation under control. But when your house gets swarmed this holiday season by relatives with a variety of allergies and asthma triggers, you may find you aren’t as prepared as you should be.
For starters, think about animal allergies. Cat allergies in particular can make family gatherings not so fun for a lot of people. If yours is the house of choice for holiday gatherings, you may want to find a place for your cat to stay that’s separate from all the guests, and you may want to deep clean the carpets and furniture. Or, just have the party somewhere else, if you aren’t feeling quite so noble.
A not so obvious potential dilemma is air fresheners. What smells great to one person can be a trigger for someone else. One option is to use natural fragrances this holiday season, like oils, flowers (be careful here), etc. According to the American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology, about one-third of people with asthma report problems with air fresheners, due to certain organic compounds. The safest approach is probably to just let the food aromas fill the house, and ditch the scents altogether.
A not so common issue is spice allergies. Usually, this isn’t one to worry about, but all the same, it’s polite to ask if people are allergic to certain spices, or any food for that matter. Food allergies in general are a precaution that, more and more, simply must be made in today’s modern society.
Let’s leave allergies for a moment, and talk about the more traditional way of getting each other sick: through coughing, sneezing and not washing hands. The Centers for Disease Control says that hand washing should be a primary defense against the spread of disease. And before you quickly turn to antibiotic soaps, remember that science really hasn’t come to a conclusion about whether or not these soaps are any better than regular soap. In fact, some studies suggest that antibiotic soaps may contribute to other health problems.