Christmas Tree Syndrome: The Suspect Behind Cold-Like Symptoms

December 2, 2023

Embracing the festive season with a Christmas tree is a cherished tradition in over one-third of American households. However, this joyous occasion can take an unexpected turn if you find yourself battling allergic reactions, such as sneezing, a runny nose, and itchy eyes. Welcome to the world of "Christmas Tree Syndrome" – an allergic response to your tree, be it real or artificial.

Various factors could trigger the allergic reaction sparked by your Christmas tree, ranging from the tree's fragrance to the presence of pine resin or molds on live Christmas trees. AFC Urgent Care New Britain has molded a guide to help you understand the head scratching topic of “Christmas Tree Syndrome.” 

Preventing Christmas Tree Syndrome: Tips and Tricks

The silver lining is that the impact of Christmas tree syndrome can be curtailed by minimizing exposure to allergens commonly found on these trees. Here are some practical tips to prevent Christmas tree syndrome and steer clear of setting up a "danger tree."

For Live Trees:

  • Wear gloves and long sleeves when bringing the tree indoors to shield your skin from sap.
  • Before introducing the tree to your home, shake it out or use a leaf blower, followed by spraying it with water to eliminate pollen and mold.
  • Place the tree stump in a bucket of water and let it dry outdoors for a few days to thwart mold growth.
  • Families with severe allergies should consider refraining from setting up a live tree. If unavoidable, limit its display to no more than a week.

For Artificial Trees:

  • Properly store your artificial tree during the off-season – securely wrap it, store it in a cool, dry place, and avoid dusty environments.
  • Wipe down the tree before assembling it in your home.
  • Clean ornaments before decorating the tree.
  • Exercise caution with spray snow to avoid irritant reactions in the eyes, nose, or lungs caused by aerosolized chemicals.

Avoiding a "Danger Tree":

Each holiday season witnesses approximately 230 home fires originating from Christmas trees. These fires result in an average of six deaths, 22 injuries, and $18.3 million in direct property damage.

  • Ensure live trees are fresh (deep green, not brown), with a sticky, wet trunk laden with resin.
  • Verify that a significant number of needles don't detach when tapping the tree trunk on the ground.
  • Artificial trees should carry a "fire-resistant" label.

AFC Urgent Care New Britain: Your Holiday Health Ally

Should you suspect Christmas Tree Syndrome affecting you, seek assistance at AFC Urgent Care New Britain. We can help discern whether your tree is the culprit or if there's a more serious underlying cause for your symptoms, such as a cold or the flu. 

Our doors are open every day of the week, and we gladly accept most insurance plans. Feel free to drop in, schedule an appointment, or give us a call anytime. Don't forget to explore our user-friendly online payment system, making check-in and check-out a breeze. Wishing you a wonderful holiday season and good health!

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