SUNDAY, Nov. 23, 2008 (HealthDay News) -- When hosting for the holiday season, be aware that one in six American suffer from either allergies or asthma.
The American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology offers these tips for party throwers to help ensure their guests' asthma and allergy symptoms don't rear up:
- Ask guests about food allergies before planning your menu. Even trace amounts of an offending food can trigger a reaction. Know what is in each dish and avoid cross-contamination by thoroughly washing utensils, cookware and food storage containers between uses.
- Minimize dust mites, animal dander and other allergens by dusting and vacuuming regularly in the weeks before the event. Vacuum upholstered furniture and drapery as well as carpets.
- Clean or replace furnace air filters so they trap allergens better.
- If people are staying overnight, clean their rooms thoroughly the day they arrive, including washing sheets and pillowcases in hot water.
- Keep pets out of guests' rooms and, if necessary, confined to another area of the house, such as the basement.
- Limit fragrant candles, plants and potpourris. Apply perfume conservatively.
- Don't burn wood in the fireplace as smoke and ash can trigger asthma issues. Require guests who smoke to do so outdoors.
The American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology has more about having an allergy- and asthma-free holiday.