Asthma Society of Ireland launches top tips to take the scare out of Halloween when it comes to asthma

The Asthma Society of Ireland have today launched some simple life saving tips to make sure that asthma and allergy sufferers can have a safe and Happy Halloween as the scary season starts to get underway. Halloween festivities, although harmless on the outside, can worsen asthma and allergy symptoms if simple precautions are not taken, such as:

1.     Make sure your inhaler, or your child’s inhaler (blue), is available at all times and that they are aware of what to do if they develop symptoms

2.     Make sure that new Halloween costumes do not contain latex

3.     If costumes have been stored since last year, be aware they could contain dust and mould and should be washed before use

4.     Halloween masks can interfere with breathing, so children with asthma should opt for a half mask or no mask at all

5.     If your child has skin sensitivities, be mindful of masks containing fabrics which may cause an allergic reaction

6.     If weather is one of your child’s triggers, check the forecast and be prepared.  Take the necessary precautions going from house to house trick-or-treating in cold, frosty or damp conditions as this can cause asthma symptoms to flare up.

  1. Fireworks can be a powerful trigger, as they contain gun powder residue. If there is a likelihood of fireworks being used make sure your child has taken extra reliever inhaler before leaving home

8.     Smoke from bonfires may act as an irritant and trigger an asthma attack; therefore it is advisable to avoid bonfires

9.     If your child has a food allergy check any sweets or chocolate they collect trick or treating to ensure it is safe for your child to consume

10.  Use hypo-allergenic make-up for costumes, as odors and dyes in some make-up may trigger an allergic reaction

The Asthma Society of Ireland would like to remind parents to direct their children to the newly designed website where they can learn all about their condition in a fun, informative manner. The site contains information about asthma, pollen, mould and spores forecasts and educational videos on how to use asthma devices and how to manage triggers in the home and at school, as well as publications on all aspects of asthma and asthma management.

Asthma Nurse Specialist, Frances Guiney of the Asthma Society of Ireland commented, “Unfortunately Halloween is a time when children with asthma and allergies and their parents need to be more vigilant of the triggers that come with the holiday’s festivities.  Weather variations are always a trigger when it comes to asthma but the combined elements of certain Halloween costumes, trick or treat food collections, fireworks and bonfires can unfortunately aggravate asthma and make symptoms worse. At the Asthma Society of Ireland our main piece of advice is for asthma sufferers to carry their blue inhaler at all times during this holiday. Preparation is key in order to avoid an unwanted attack. We hope our top tips will help anyone unsure about what precautions to take over the coming weeks and ensure a safe Halloween for all.  If you have any concerns about your asthma at Halloween you can get confidential and expert advice from our Asthma Adviceline on 1850 44 54 64.”

All asthma patients should have an up to date personal asthma management plan. If you or your children do not have one, ask your GP or asthma nurse to devise a Personal Asthma Management Plan with you. This will help you control your asthma, show you how to tell if your symptoms are getting worse and what to do in an asthma attack.  You can also download our FREE iPhone App Asthma Coach, which includes an electronic Asthma Management Plan.  For more information on the app or on asthma, visit our new website .

Parents of children with asthma who are worried about triggers over Halloween can call the Asthma Adviceline for further advice on 1850 44 54 64 or

Funding information:

The Asthma Society of Ireland has been informed by Minister Shatter that our Government funding (from the Charitable Lotteries Scheme) will be cut by 50% each year, for the next three years and the fund will be removed completely by 2016. This represents a cut of €360,000 per year in the funds available to the Asthma Society of Ireland.

Every week at least one person dies from an Asthma attack in Ireland. At the Asthma Society of Ireland we are working to stop Asthma deaths. We URGENTLY need your support to replace the funds that have been cut to allow us to continue to provide vital services to people with asthma. These include our Asthma Adviceline and Clinics, which save lives by ensuring people with asthma, have better control over their asthma and a better quality of life. Please donate NOW at

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