How to Avoid Allergy and Asthma Triggers During Outdoor Parties and Cookouts
In the warmer months, people in the UK love to spend time outdoors with their family and friends. Outdoor events, festivals, cookouts, and concerts are common outdoor pastimes in the summer. Most people only have to worry about packing sunglasses and a hat when they plan to spend time outside, if you have asthma or allergies, you have a lot more to worry about than the sun getting in your eyes.
When you’re outdoors and have asthma or allergies, you’re liable to spend more time, sneezing, and dealing with watery eyes and a runny nose. This can make an outdoor event completely miserable.
To be able to properly enjoy your time outside, you have to take a few precautions to ensure that you won’t be subject to allergy or asthma attacks. Here are a few steps you should take before you go outside to play.
Take Your Medications with You
Those with asthma and allergies often take medications to manage their symptoms. This could be tablets, nasal sprays, inhalers, or emergency medications like Epipens. If you’re going to be somewhere that can trigger your condition, be sure to have your medications with you.
It’s just as important to know how to properly take and use your medications. You may also want to ensure that those with you are aware of your medications, where you’re carrying them, and how they need to be administered if you start showing any signs of asthma or allergy attacks.
Be Wary of Smoke
The smoke from fire pits, bonfires, grills and BBQs are one of the biggest causes of asthma attacks in the summer. If you’re susceptible to attacks from breathing in smoke, consider coming to the gathering after most of the food has been cooked. If you’re the host, cook as much of the food indoors as you can and save just a few things for the grill.
Ask any of the attendees who smoke or vape to do so away from where you could breathe it in. And, of course, try to avoid any smoke from fires or grills.
Mind the Pollen
Pollen from grass, trees, and flowers are a common trigger for asthma and allergies. Pollen counts are higher in the warmer months so if you’re going to be outside, be sure to be prepared with any medications. You can also check online for forecasts about the pollen count and make decisions based on how high it’s going to be.
Some pollen is released year round so don’t think that just because it’s not summer you’ll be safe from pollen. Check pollen count reports no matter what time of year it is and bring along a mask just in case.
Protect Your Skin
Our bodies need some direct exposure to sunlight to stay healthy and to get vitamin D. However, too much time in the sun can seriously damage your skin. From premature ageing, skin cancer, and skin discoloration, you shouldn’t overdo it outside. Suncream with a high SPF factor can help protect you from sun damage. Be sure to top up your sunscreen every couple of hours and if you’re worried about your makeup, they do make some that can be sprayed on over makeup without ruining your look.
If you have sensitive skin, opt for a natural sunscreen. Some of the chemicals found in certain suncreams, like PABA, can cause contact dermatitis. Natural sunscreens contain fewer potentially harmful chemicals while still giving you protection.
Remember the Pets
People in Britain love their pets! In addition to dogs and cats, more and more people are keeping pets like guinea pigs, rabbits, and chickens in their gardens. If any of these types of animals are liable to set you off sneezing and wheezing, let people know about your situation so they can make any necessary adjustments.
Many festivals and fairs have animals for petting zoos and other attractions. Bring along hand sanitiser and any medications you may need if you come into contact with animals.
Don’t Bug Out
Even though they aren’t usually invited, there are always plenty of insects who will end up coming to your event. Most are just a nuisance, but for some people the insects could pose a life-threatening situation. The most common insects that cause allergic reactions are bees, wasps, hornets, yellow jackets, and fire ants.
Keep your medications like an EpiPen handy and use insect repellent. It’s also useful to let people know about your condition in case you end up needing their help.
What’s That Smell?
Some people have sensitivities and allergies to certain scents like perfumes, aftershaves, and deodorants. People with asthma may experience an attack if they’re exposed to these scents, scented candles, or insect repelling candles.
A mask can help if you’re going to be in a crowd or somewhere that you’ll be unable to avoid scented products.
Viewing fireworks displays is a dazzling way to spend an evening. Unfortunately, this beautiful sight can release smoke and other particles that might trigger asthma. When you attend fireworks show, try to stand back as far as possible from where they’re being fired from.
The smoke used in battle re-enactments can have a similar effect so the same advice goes if you attend a historical event with re-enactments.
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