Hudson Allergy

Hudson Allergy – Feature a Patient’s Business: Tania Isenstein – Camp Canine

What is your name and what is your job title?
Tania Isenstein, Top Dog

What is the name of your business, and your website URL?
Camp Canine, www.nycampcanine.com

When was your business founded and how long have you been working there?
I took it over in April 2012; my 5 year anniversary is this year.

Please describe your business: What is your elevator pitch? Who is your ideal customer?
Camp Canine is a luxury doggie and kitty daycare, lodging and grooming facility on the UWS of Manhattan.

Please describe your role in your business: What does your day-to-day look like?
I am an owner/operator, and am extremely hands on.  I know each of the dogs and customers.

How has seeing an allergist (visiting Hudson Allergy) helped you be more productive in your profession?
Now, when I get a cold, it goes away rather than lingering for months and becoming more severe. I miss less work.

What advice do you want to give to anyone reading this?
Follow your dreams and stay healthy.

What is your favorite thing about NYC?
Everything!  I cannot imagine living anywhere else.

 

Get Social with Camp Canine:
Facebook: CampCanineNY & CampFeline
Instagram: @nycampcanine & @nycampfeline
Pinterest: NYCampCanine

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How to Safely Travel with Allergies and Asthma

Spring break is just around the corner, and summer will be here before you know it. Are you planning your next big vacation? If you have allergies or asthma, careful planning and communication are essential to ensuring that your vacation is as safe as it is relaxing.

Travelers with allergies should take a page from the Boy Scout handbook: always be prepared. The time leading up to your trip should be spent arranging any special requests or accommodations as well as putting together an “allergy kit” that contains everything you’ll need to manage your allergies while away from home, such as prescription medications, emergency medicine like an epinephrine auto-injector or an inhaler, copies of your emergency care plans, and smaller supplies like tissues. You’ll want to make sure you leave plenty of lead-time for your requests to ensure that venues have time to make the proper arrangements.

Ready to start planning your vacation? Here are our tips:

Car Travel

  • Service your car before your travel date. Make sure that air filters are replaced and clean out the ventilation and air conditioning system.
  • Travel with the windows rolled up and use the recirculation button, if your car has one. This will limit the amount of outside air and pollutants (such as pollen) being pulled into the car’s cabin.
  • If you’ll be traveling in the car for long distances, make a smaller version of your allergy kit that you can bring in and out of the car with you.
  • Keep a bag or cooler of allergy-friendly snacks with you in the car.

Air Travel

  • Check the airline’s allergy policies before booking your flight. You should be able to find this on the airline website. If your not comfortable with a particular airline’s policies, consider traveling with a different company.
  • Make a note of your allergy while booking your flight reservation. Your information can be forwarded to airline employees, such as the gate agent and flight crew. If you have a nut allergy, some airlines will set up a nut free buffer zone around your seat while others may make the flight totally nut free.
  • Planes are usually cleaned at the end of the day, so try to schedule an early flight.
  • Bring your own allergy-friendly food. You may want to check with the airline to see if there are any restrictions in what you can bring onboard.
  • Check your seat and clean your area before sitting down for the flight. Cleaning up stray food particles can help you avoid an allergen coming into contact with your skin and causing a reaction.
  • Make sure your epinephrine auto-injector is with you on the plane at all times. It should not be placed in your checked luggage or put in the overhead bin. Read up on carrying medications onto a plane before your departure date.

Train Travel

  • If the train allows pets, request to be seated away from any animals onboard.
  • If there is a meal car, ask if the food staff can accommodate your allergy. If not, see if you can bring your own allergy-friendly food onto the train.

Overseas Travel

  • Keep an allergy card with you at all times. The card should list your allergy and what to do in case of an emergency. If you are traveling to a non-English speaking country, have your card translated into the local language.
  • Know the location of the nearest hospital. Research which hospitals are best suited to treat an anaphylactic reaction.
  • Research local cuisine to see if there are any regional dishes you should absolutely avoid while traveling.
  • If you will have access to a kitchen, you may want to bring non-perishable food that is safe for you to eat (for example, pasta).
  • Learn the words for your allergen in the local language. This will help you spot it on menus or on ingredient labels. 

Hotel Stays

  • Request a non-smoking, pet-free room. Make note of your allergy when making your reservations.
  • If you are not sure how to speak to a chef about your allergy, your hotel’s concierge may be able to call the restaurant on your behalf to explain your allergy to the chef.
  • If you are allergic to dust mites or if certain products like laundry detergent cause a reaction, consider bringing your own linens and pillow covers.

Going on vacation is a great way to take a break from your normal routine as well as de-stress. Traveling with allergies or asthma does have a unique set of challenges, but with the right amount of preparation, you can experience the same relaxing vacation as someone without allergies.

If you have any questions about managing your allergies while you travel, don’t hesitate to reach out to us. We are here to help! Feel free to give us a call at 212-729-1283 or email us at info@hudsonallergy.com.

Would you like to see these tips in our latest infographic? Click here or on the image below.

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Common Spring Allergy Triggers and How to Avoid Them

For many New Yorkers, spring just means warmer weather and beautiful flowers in bloom. However for the 19.1 million adults with hay fever, it also means sneezing, coughing, watery eyes, runny nose, and other irritating symptoms.

Every spring, trees and grasses release pollen grains into the air. These grains are light enough that they can travel in the wind. Flower pollen, on the other hand, is heavier and falls to the ground, and is therefore less likely to cause allergy symptoms. If flower pollen isn’t the cause of your symptoms, what is? Here are a few spring allergy triggers:

Tree Pollen: This includes pollen from tree varieties such as ash, beech, birch, cedar, cottonwood, elm, hickory, juniper, maple, mulberry, oak, pine, poplar, and willow, among others. Pollen can travel in the air for miles, so even if you don’t have trees in your neighborhood, their pollen can still affect you.

Grass Pollen: The grass pollens that can trigger the symptoms of spring allergies include Kentucky bluegrass, Bermuda grass, Johnson grass, rye grass, and orchard grass, among others. Typically in NYC, grass pollens make their way into the environment towards the end of the spring, and become the more predominant pollen in the summer.

Are you prepared to deal with spring allergies this year? Here are a few tips from Hudson Allergy on avoiding exposure to allergens and managing your symptoms:

Know when allergy season starts. Spring allergy season can begin as early as February if the weather is warm enough. Don’t wait until the middle of April to begin thinking about how to treat your symptoms. Make an appointment with your allergist and start treating spring allergy symptoms before they start.

See what’s in the air. Download a pollen tracker app. This app will help you keep track of pollen levels in New York and let you see what times of day are best for outdoor activities.

Limit your time outdoors. Staying inside on days with high pollen counts can help you avoid your allergy triggers. Unfortunately, this may mean avoiding some of your daily activities or turning down a few invitations to backyard BBQs.

Be aware of cross-reactions. Cross-reactivity happens when proteins in one substance are similar to proteins in another. For example, if you are allergic to birch pollen, you may also have a reaction to apples. Such a reaction is known as oral allergy syndrome.

Make time for spring cleaning. Regularly cleaning and vacuuming your home can help you eliminate allergens from your living space. You’ll want to use a vacuum cleaner with a HEPA filter to trap symptom-causing particles. In addition to cleaning, you can also make a few other changes to your home, such as keeping windows shut and using an air conditioner to keep cool.

Are you ready to deal with spring allergies? Our month-to-month guide helps you understand what might be triggering your symptoms during different times of the year. Don’t wait until symptoms are making you miserable to do something.

If you have any questions about managing your spring allergies, don’t hesitate to reach out to us. We are here to help! Feel free to give us a call at 212-729-1283 or email us at info@hudsonallergy.com.

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Seasonal Allergies: A Month-to-Month Guide to Your Allergies

Do you experience allergies year-round? Or, do your allergies seem to flare up for just a few months out of the year?

Common allergy symptoms include sneezing, nasal congestion, skin rash, runny nose, wheezing, coughing, and itchy, watery eyes, among others. You may associate your symptoms with “allergy season,” but what does that mean? Many people think that “allergy season” only occurs in the spring months when pollen is in the air. In reality, however, there is no one single “allergy season” that applies to all people with allergies. It really depends on what you are allergic to and where you live.

Someone with an allergy to tree pollen may experience allergy symptoms during the spring or summer when pollen is more prevalent, while someone with an allergy to dust mites may experience more symptoms during the cold winter months when more time is spent indoors. Your symptoms are related to exposure.

Here’s a month-by-month breakdown of when you’re most likely to come into contact with certain allergens:

January: Indoor allergens are more of a problem during the winter because more time spent inside your home also means increased exposure to things like dust mites, pet dander, and mold. You can reduce your exposure by eliminating these allergens from your home by keeping humidity below 40%, washing your bedding in hot water, and regularly vacuuming and cleaning your home. (Tip: your should use a vacuum cleaner with a HEPA filter.)

While it is relatively rare, some people may also experience cold urticaria, which is an allergic reaction to cold temperatures. It can cause hives, redness, swelling, and itching after you’ve been exposed to the cold.

February: Indoor allergens may continue to aggravate your symptoms in February. It is also possible to see tree pollen popping up around the U.S. in this month, even in the colder Northeast. Allergy symptoms may be caused by pollen from alder, maple, hickory, elm, and walnut trees, among others. Cedar trees also pollinate in the winter months (December through March). Tree pollen can cause the same allergy symptoms that are common in “spring allergies,” such as sneezing, congestion, and itchy, watery eyes.

March: With winter beginning to transition into spring, pollen will become more of an issue in March. In addition to tree pollen, pollen from weeds and grasses may also be an issue if spring comes early. Make sure you load up your favorite pollen tracker app onto your phone when March rolls around! Knowing the pollen count can help you plan your daily activities in an effort to reduce exposure to allergens (ex. exercising outdoors when pollen counts are low).

April: Make sure to make an appointment with your allergist and stock up on medications before April rolls around if you have a pollen allergy – April is the height of pollen production for many trees, grasses, and weeds. This can leave many people with seasonal allergies feeling pretty miserable. Remember to keep your windows closed to avoid letting airborne allergens into your home.

May: Tree and grass pollens are still a concern in May. You may also start to see more insects out and about, so stay alert if you are allergic to insect stings or bites.

June: Grass pollens like bermuda, oat, and rye are in full effect in June and can be affected by environmental changes, such as temperature and rainfall. If you haven’t experienced any symptoms from grass pollen yet, it’s likely you may start noticing symptoms during this month. As the temperature warms up you’ll probably want to spend more time outside, which means increased exposure to pollen. (Remember to check your pollen tracker app before you head outside.) You can avoid bringing pollen into your home by taking your shoes off at the door and changing your clothes as soon as you get inside. It’s also a good idea to shower before you go to sleep to avoid bringing pollen into your bed.

July: The month of July brings some good news with it: grass and tree pollen levels should start to reduce. Unfortunately, however, weed pollen may still be an issue and fungus and mold spores start to make an appearance. Mold spores can be found in damp environments, so check your bathroom and basement for any collected moisture or leaks.

August: Mold levels will begin to peak due to the hot, humid weather. Ragweed season also begins during mid August and it can be a difficult pollen to avoid – it has been found two miles into the atmosphere and 400 miles out at sea! The best course of action is to take your medications and avoid exposure.

September: Weed pollens continue to be a problem for allergy sufferers in September, and ragweed will reach its peak in the middle of the month. A single ragweed plant can produce billions of grains of pollen and some of that pollen might be around until the first frost of the season.

October: You might get some relief from your fall allergy symptoms during October, but there are still allergens hanging around. Increased rainfall can cause a growth in the production of mold spores.

November: Here’s something to be thankful for in November: ragweed season is on its way out! November is one of the better months for people with outdoor allergies as pollen levels decline during this month. However, as things get chillier and you once again start to spend more time indoors you’ll have to cope with mold, dust, and pet dander.

December: As in November and January before it, indoor allergies will be a concern in the month of December. Those with an allergy to dust mites may see more symptoms during December as holiday decorations are brought out of storage and anyone with an allergy to mold should be careful if they bring a living Christmas tree into the home as there could be mold spores on the branches.

Are you prepared for your own personal “allergy season”? The first step for preparing for allergy season is to be tested to learn what you are allergic to. Once you know what brings your allergy symptoms on, you can reduce or avoid exposure no matter what time of year it is.

If you have any questions about managing your allergies, don’t hesitate to reach out to us. We are here to help! Feel free to give us a call at 212-729-1283 or email us at info@hudsonallergy.com.

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Excited For New Year’s Eve? If You Have Food Allergies, Proceed with Caution If You’re Aiming for an Unexpected Kiss

Living with allergies, particularly food allergies, can be complicated, but with some advanced preparation and tips, you can enjoy a cheerful New Year’s celebration and kick the new year off right.

Here are some of our tips for your New Year’s Eve party:

Be careful when you kiss.
Ringing in the new year with a kiss is perhaps the best known New Year’s Eve tradition. But did you know it could have some nasty consequences for someone with food allergies? Unfortunately, there have been recent stories of people with food allergies having serious anaphylactic reactions after kissing someone with trace amounts of an allergen on their lips. So, before you pucker up, make sure the person you’re going to kiss hasn’t eaten anything that could give you an allergic reaction, such as peanuts or tree nuts. It’s important to know your allergy and communicate with your partner.

Talk to your host beforehand.
The best line of defense for any person with allergies is to know what situation you’ll be walking into. If you’re not hosting the big New Year’s bash this year you’ll want to get in touch with your host ASAP. Talk with the host about your allergies and get the need-to-know details about the event location and the menu. If you contact your host with enough advanced notice they will likely be able to get some recommendations for allergy-friendly dishes and take extra precautions when preparing food. You can also offer to bring along your own allergy-safe food, snacks, or drinks to the party. For example, if you have a gluten intolerance you may want to bring your own gluten-free beer. (Here are some of our favorites.)

Also, if you have cat or dog allergies and the party will be taking place in the host’s home, you can ask about pets in advance and set a reminder on your phone to take an antihistamine before you head to the party.

Make an action plan.
Don’t wait until the big night to think about your allergies. Take some time during the days leading up to New Year’s Eve to put together an action plan to deal with the worst-case scenario. Make sure to bring along the essential items you might need during an emergency, such as an EpiPen or your inhaler. You should also educate at least one other guest at the party on how to administer your medication if you are unable to do so yourself and be sure they know to call 911 after administering emergency medication. Remember, it’s better to have a plan in place and not need it versus not having a plan and regretting it. 

Watch for the signs of an alcohol intolerance.
Most people enjoy a few drinks on New Year’s Eve. Have you ever experienced flushed skin, nasal congestion, or hives after consuming an alcoholic drink? Or, have you ever experienced sickness after just one or two drinks? If so, you might have an alcohol intolerance. Most allergic reactions to alcohol are due to other ingredients (such as preservatives, grains, or yeast), not the alcohol itself. The most common symptoms of an alcohol intolerance include hives, redness, headache, nausea, runny nose, nasal congestion, vomiting, and the worsening of a pre-existing asthma condition. If you think you might have an alcohol intolerance, make an appointment with an allergist and skip the booze on New Year’s Eve.

Do you have a New Year’s resolution?

A new year can mean a fresh start for managing your allergies and improving your overall health. It can be a wonderful time of year, but New Year’s Eve can also be stressful for those trying to manage allergies. These tips can help you start the year off right.

If you have any questions about managing your allergies in the new year, don’t hesitate to reach out to us. We are here to help! Feel free to give us a call at 212-729-1283 or email us at info@hudsonallergy.com.

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Winter Allergy Triggers: Is It Allergies or the Common Cold?

The days are shorter, the nights are colder, and those with pollen allergies are breathing a sigh of relief.

Many seasonal allergy sufferers look forward to winter, as the decreased pollen production means relief from their allergy symptoms. For those sensitive to indoor allergens like mold, pet dander, and dust mites, however, the colder weather doesn’t bring the same sense of relief. In fact, the winter season may cause an uptick in symptoms for these patients as the cold weather often means more time spent indoors – and that leads to increased exposure to certain allergens.

Those experiencing a winter allergy often have symptoms such as congestion, runny nose, and itchy, watery eyes. Due to the weather and these particular symptoms some people may wonder:

Is it allergies, the flu, or a cold?

Many of the symptoms of a cold, seasonal allergies, and the flu virus are shared, which can make it confusing to tell the difference between the three. Better understanding the unique symptoms of each can be helpful for determining whether you should make an appointment with your primary physician or your allergist – or if you should pick up over-the-counter cold medication. Here’s what you should know about the symptoms:

  • Having a fever and body aches is most common with the flu. While you may experience a fever or body aches with a cold, you would never see these symptoms with allergies.
  • If your symptoms last longer than three weeks, the cause is likely allergies. A cold usually lasts up to 14 days and the flu may last from 1 to 3 weeks.
  • Sneezing is a more prominent symptom of allergies.
  • Itchy eyes are uncommon with a cold or the flu, but are often a symptom of allergies.

If the cause of your symptoms appears to be allergies, you’re probably on the lookout for tips on minimizing exposure to allergens. Here’s what we recommend:

Get tested for allergies. If you don’t already know what you are allergic to, it’s time to make an appointment for allergy testing. When you know the exact cause of your symptoms (whether it be dust, pet dander, or something more unusual), you can create a much more targeted approach to clearing allergens from your environment.

Check for mold. Mold grows in damp environments, such as your bathroom or basement. Check these areas for mold growth and remove any sources of standing water. You can kill the mold you find with a mixture of 1-quart water and 1/2 cup bleach.

Try a salt water spray. During the winter, your nose can dry up in the same way that your skin does due to the cold, dry air outside and the warm, dry air inside. This drying out can cause some people to be more prone to nosebleeds in the winter. To prevent this, use salt water sprays or nasal gels. You can also use Vaseline to line the inside of the nose and keep it moist.

Do a deep clean. The best way to remove allergens from your home is with a thorough cleaning. In addition to getting an air purifier with a HEPA filter to remove allergens from the air, you should also install filters on the vents in your home. You should also vacuum and dust your home at least once per week (be sure to clean carpets, rugs, and any upholstery that collects allergens). Use a damp cloth when dusting to trap allergens instead of sending them flying into the air around you and wash your bedding and linens in hot water to kill dust mites.

If you have any questions about managing your allergies, don’t hesitate to reach out to us. We are here to help! Feel free to give us a call at 212-729-1283 or email us at info@hudsonallergy.com.

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How to Manage Your Food Allergies on Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is traditionally seen as a time to gather with family and friends to reflect on what they have been thankful for during the previous year, such as good health, a rewarding career, or the opportunity to spend time with loved ones.

One thing 15 million Americans aren’t thankful for is food allergies.

Unfortunately, food allergies have been on the rise in recent years and there is no clear answer as to why. As the incidence rate continues to rise, more and more American families will be navigating the sometimes complicated world of food allergies and will be on the hunt for ways to make family events and holidays like Thanksgiving safer for their loved ones.

At Hudson Allergy we understand that managing food allergies can take an emotional toll on families, particularly due to stress brought on by a new diagnosis. That’s why we worked to put together a list of tips for safely celebrating Thanksgiving with food allergies and alleviate some of that stress.

Here are a few of our tips for enjoying a safe, allergy-friendly Thanksgiving:

Have an action plan – and an emergency plan.
Take time in the days leading up to Thanksgiving to create an “action plan” for the holiday to ensure that safety is always top-of-mind. If possible, offer to host the dinner; this way you’ll know exactly what was prepared in the kitchen, how it was done, and what ingredients went into the food. If you’re not able to host Thanksgiving dinner, ask the host if it would be possible for you to arrive early to help them prepare the meal. If you are in the kitchen on the day of you’ll have a better idea of what dishes are off-limits.

You should also have an emergency plan in place in case the worst-case scenario were to happen. Make sure you have medications on hand (including emergency medicines like an EpiPen) and educate another responsible person on how to administer your medication if necessary. You should also educate them on the signs of an allergic reaction (swelling, hives, dizziness, wheezing, vomiting, abdominal cramps, and loss of consciousness) and be sure they know to call 911 after administering your emergency education.

Read ingredient labels.
Food labels are an important source of information for people with food allergies. If there is a store-bought item on the table, make sure you check the ingredient label before digging in. For safety, “may contain” on ingredient labels should be read as “likely contains.” If there is no label or it has been discarded, don’t risk it.

Be mindful of hidden allergens.
While every family has its tried and true recipes, some home cooks like to try something new on the holidays, and unfortunately this creativity could be a problem for people with allergies. For example, the new salad dressing recipe that Aunt Susan whipped up this year could contain fish, or Uncle Joe might have decided to add peanuts to the dessert he brought. When it comes to homemade dishes and desserts, ask if you can see the recipe or ask about the ingredients. If you’re not sure about a dish, leave it off your plate.

Also, keep in mind that hidden allergens don’t just lurk in homemade foods. There might even be allergens in the turkey due to certain seasonings, basting broth, or additives in the stuffing.

Bring food with you.
If you’re worried that you won’t be able to eat anything prepared at your host’s home or are concerned about cross-contamination of utensils and tableware, play it safe and bring your own plate of food with you. If this makes you feel uncomfortable, ease your anxiety by reaching out to your host ahead of time and letting them know about your allergies. You can tell them in advance that you plan to bring your own meal, and spin it as a positive – it’s one less person they’ll have to buy food for!

Stay mindful if you have to travel.
Managing your food allergies isn’t just limited to home. If you need to travel to get home for Thanksgiving, you should take a moment to think about all the places you may encounter an allergen on your trip and consider how you’ll manage your allergy. If you have a peanut allergy, for example, you can request a peanut-free flight. If you’ll be dealing with any travel or hospitality staff, such as flight attendants or hotel employees, make sure you let them know about your allergy.

While having a food allergy may prevent you from gobbling down everything on the table, it is still very possible to have a safe and happy Thanksgiving without missing out on the fun.

If you have any questions about managing your food allergies on Thanksgiving don’t hesitate to reach out to us. We are here to help! Feel free to give us a call at 212-729-1283 or email us at info@hudsonallergy.com.

Hudson Allergy – Feature a Patient’s Business: Kaleena Murdaugh – Kaleena’s Korner Boutique

What is your name and what is your job title?
Kaleena Murdaugh, Merchandiser for Chloe and Isabel.

What is the name of your business, and your website URL?
Kaleena’s Korner Boutique, www.chloeandisabel.com/boutique/kaleena

When was your business founded and how long have you been working there?
Founded in May 2016.

Please describe your business: What is your elevator pitch? Who is your ideal customer?
I am currently selling chic, vintage and boho jewelry and accessories that are lead safe, nickel free and hypoallergenic. The jewelry is made in NYC and can be worn for all occasions.

Please describe your role in your business: What does your day-to-day look like?
As a small business woman, I wear many hats. I offer in-home, business or event pop-ups within the NYC metro area. In addition, I also work full time involved in volunteer projects.

How has seeing an allergist (visiting Hudson Allergy) helped you be more productive in your profession?
As a chronic asthmatic since childhood, managing my asthma and allergies has been a struggle. Since I began meeting with Dr. Kuriakose at Hudson Allergy, we identified all of my allergies, which are many. Then I was provided with necessary information to make adjustments at home and prescribed medicine based on my current symptoms. In addition, I also began the allergy shots on a regular basis which has been a tremendous help in managing my asthma and allergies. My allergic/hay fever and asthma flare ups have been reduced significantly.

What advice do you want to give to anyone reading this?
I would recommend anyone who is struggling with managing their asthma and allergies to contact Hudson Allergy. Allergy shots are worth the investment in your overall health and well-being if traditional medications are not working.

What is your favorite thing about NYC?
Diversity. I love that we have a bit of everyone here!

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Don’t Be Scared: 6 Tips for Celebrating Halloween with Allergies

It’s that time of year again: Americans all over the country are settling into fall. For many, this means sipping on a pumpkin spice latte while Googling unique patterns to carve into pumpkins and deciding where to hang fake spider webs.

For American children it means picking out a costume and practicing telling neighbors to smell their feet and give them something good to eat. Unfortunately, the “give me something good to eat” part can present a problem for the 1 in every 13 children with food allergies.

You may be worrying about how to handle Halloween if your child has food allergies or sensitivities, but rest assured that there are ways to celebrate this wickedly fun holiday safely and without triggering an allergic reaction. Here are our six tips for celebrating Halloween with allergies:

Be careful with costume makeup.
Many costumes include an element of makeup, such as painting your child’s face a solid color or painting on fake scars or wounds. Remember to be cautious when using Halloween makeup, as it may cause an allergic reaction. Be sure you are using high-quality makeup and do a test of the makeup on a small patch of skin a few days before Halloween to see if a reaction is triggered.

Be prepared.
Before leaving the house on Halloween, do a quick check to make sure you are bringing along all essential items your child needs for their allergies or asthma, such as inhalers, medications, or an EpiPen. Also be sure that another responsible person has been educated on the use of your child’s EpiPen and knows what to do in case of an emergency.

Teach children how to read ingredient labels.
It’s critical that your child understands which foods and ingredients are off-limits to them before they go trick-or-treating or attend a party. Food labels are a key source of information for those with food allergies, particularly with regard to hidden allergens, so it’s important to teach your children how to properly read them and recognize hidden allergens. For safety, children should be taught that “may contain” on ingredient labels should be read as “likely contains.”

Find an alternative to trick-or-treating.
You may decide that it’s best to skip trick-or-treating altogether. If you make this decision, there are plenty of other non-food related activities that you can do with your child to stay in the spirit of Halloween, such as a scary movie marathon, visiting a haunted house, or carving pumpkins. If you do decide to go trick-or-treating…

Look for teal pumpkins.
The Food Allergy Research & Education organization hopes people “go teal” for Halloween. FARE’s Teal Pumpkin Project promotes an allergy-friendly Halloween by encouraging people to offer non-food treats to trick-or-treaters, such as crayons, small toys, stickers, bubbles, and other items. Anyone participating in the Teal Pumpkin Project will be displaying either a teal pumpkin or a sign noting that they are participating. For the nearly 6 million children in the US with food allergies, the Teal Pumpkin Project is a wonderful initiative that allows them to join in on the holiday fun.

Swap candy for other treats.
When you and your child return home from trick or treating, sit down and sort through the candy they have collected. You can read ingredient labels together and remove anything that could cause an allergic reaction. Depending on your child’s allergy there may not be much left that they are able to eat (or perhaps anything at all). Plan ahead for this possibility and buy allergy-safe treats in advance. On Halloween night you can swap the candy that your child has collected for the allergy-safe toys and treats.

It’s easy to see why nearly two-thirds of American children say that Halloween is their favorite holiday. Thankfully it is still possible for children with allergies to enjoy the holiday safely – it just requires a little preparation.

If you believe you have food allergies or have questions about resources available to people with allergies, give us a call. Or, if you are looking for an allergist, we’d love to meet you. We can be reached at 212-729-1283 or send us an email at info@hudsonallergy.com.

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Get Tips on Safely Trick-or- Treating with Food Allergies from Dr. Lee

Get your Halloween costume ready!

On Monday our very own Dr. Tricia Lee will be giving a food allergy talk to give parents and children tips on how to trick-or- treat safely with food allergies.

Mommy Nearest, The Switch Witch, and the Teal Pumpkin Project are organizing a food allergy friendly playdate in Tribeca – and Hudson Allergy is thrilled to say that Dr. Lee will be on hand to discuss food allergy friendly topics and answer your questions.

The evening will include a story reading of “The Switch Witch,” a Halloween parade, and Teal Pumpkin Project arts & crafts in addition to Dr. Lee’s talk. The event is free to attend and all attendees will also be given a Switch Witch goodie bag!

The playdate will take place at Gymboree Tribeca on Monday October 17th from 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM. There are a limited number of tickets, so if you’re interested in attending please try to register ASAP.

Click here to register for the event.