Granddaugher and grandfather smiling and kneeling in a pumpkin patch

Tricks and Treats for Fall Allergy Relief

Seasonal allergy triggers can hide like ghosts everywhere. But carving out fall fun for you and your little goblins doesn’t have to be a frightful time with these easy allergy relief tips.

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Making the Most of Outdoor Fun

Whether you’re going on a haunted hay ride through a pumpkin patch, picking apples at a local orchard or just playing a friendly game of tag football in the yard, these quick allergy relief tips can help reduce your exposure to fall allergen so you can enjoy more of the season outdoors.

Take Count

Pollen counts are usually highest on dry, hot and windy days. So, it’s a good idea to avoid outdoor activities as much as possible during these times.1 And be sure to keep an eye on pollen levels in your area so you know what to expect on any given day.

Dress the Part

'Tis the season to dress up. So, try out an incognito or Hollywood glam look with oversized glasses and a hat to help reduce the amount of pollen and mold spores that land on your eyes and hair when you’re outdoors.

Keep it Outside

Your shoes, clothing and hair can all be pollen and mold magnets. To help limit the amounts of allergens that get tracked inside, remove your shoes and clothing and be sure to shower right away after returning home. If you don’t have time for a shower, at least wash your hands and face well.

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Mold colonies may start to grow on damp surfaces within 24-48 hours and continue to grow rapidly if you don’t take steps to help reduce moisture and remove spores quickly.2

Tackling Fall Yardwork

One of the best parts about fall is watching the leaves turn from green to a rainbow of glorious colors. But when they fall to the ground, those pretty piles of damp leaves are perfect hideouts for mold and pollen spores. Raking up the leaves and doing other yardwork can stir up these allergens—and your symptoms. To help reduce your exposure, just follow these easy tips.

Be Diligent About Disposal

Wet and decaying leaves can grow mold and harbor pollen spores. So, try to remove wet piles of leaves from your yard as soon as possible.2

Delegate Outdoor Chores

If possible, it’s best for pollen and mold allergy sufferers to avoid doing outdoor chores. Consider hiring someone to help out or assigning chores like raking leaves and mowing the lawn to another member of the family who doesn’t suffer from allergies.3

Filter Fall Triggers

If you must do the yardwork yourself, wear a National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH)-approved N95 dust mask to help reduce exposure to pollen and mold spores when raking leaves, gardening or mowing the lawn. You can find one at drug stores and home supply centers.4

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Carved pumpkins, especially ones with the stems removed, are more susceptible to collecting moisture at their base, which may lead to mold growth. Instead of carving, get crafty with pumpkins using paint, markers, sequins and stickers. You can also try spraying your crafted pumpkin with a homemade peppermint oil, which has been shown to have antifungal properties that may reduce mold growth.2

Decorating and Dressing Up

From your favorite vintage costume to that artificial fall foliage centerpiece, decorations and costumes packed away for months can be a magnet for Dust mites and mold spores. Follow these simple tips to help reduce your exposure.

Costume Clean-Up

Don’t sneeze your way through your neighbor’s annual Halloween bash. Wash those spooktacular duds in hot water and tumble dry on high before wearing to help kill dust mites and mold spores. But be sure to check the cleaning instructions label on your costume first.2

Allergy-Smart Storage

Costumes and decorations are often stored in cardboard boxes in damp environments like basements, garages or attics. Big mistake. Cardboard holds moisture and is a food source for mold and a haven for dust mites. Instead, store costumes and decorations in waterproof plastic bins and use a dehumidifier where they’re stored to keep the humidity level below 50%.

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