Rule No.1 – Keep your decorations “off season” in enclosed containers, this will reduce dust and mildew from accumulating – and avoid sniffles when opened.
Rule No.2 – Avoid artificial “snow sprays” that can aggravate your sinuses, eyes and cause annoying respiratory symptom including cough.
Rule No.3 – Watch out for those lovely faux holiday “poinsettias” if you have skin allergies, especially if you have a sensitivity to rubber, it may cause a itchy rash.
Rule No.4 – Don’t bring in wood for the fireplace until needed, it may bring mildew and molds into your home, especially when not completely dry or damp.
Rule No.5 – Watch out for those pesky mold spores if you have a natural, fresh Christmas tree in your home, especially if you have indoor allergies!
Rule No.6 – If you humidify your home, measure the indoor humidity level with a low cost hygrometer, and keep the level of humidity at 50 percent or less.
Rule No.7 – It may be best to avoid wood burning stoves or direct exposure to poorly ventilated home fireplace, especially if you have asthma or respiratory problems.
Rule No.8 – Stay away from scented candles and potpourri, incense, room fragrance devices that can irritate your eyes and nose as well as your breathing.
Rule No.9 – Wash all non-porous holiday decorations, with warm soapy water to clean off dust and mildew, before placing on your tree and other areas of the home.
Rule No.10 – A HEPA air cleaner (both a portable room unit and/or central heating/ventilation system can help to reduce indoor allergens and pollutants.)
Dr. Clifford Bassett is an adult and pediatric allergy specialist, and diplomate of the American Board of Allergy and Immunology. He is the medical director of Allergy and Asthma Care of NY. Bassett is a clinical assistant professor of medicine and on the teaching faculty of NYU School of Medicine and NYU Langone Medical Center, and faculty at Cornell University Medical College. Follow him on Twitter.