Watch out for 'Christmas tree syndrome' - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Watch out for 'Christmas tree syndrome'

(KFVS) -

Many of us will likely put up our Christmas trees in the coming days and weeks so doctors are warning you to be mindful of what they call "Christmas tree syndrome."

Not to be confused with the common cold, the syndrome can cause respiratory problems due to both live and artificial trees. 

If you plan on putting up a live tree, keep in mind:

  • Live trees can carry mold spores naturally which can cause allergic reactions.
  • Tree sap contains substances that can irritate the skin and mucous membranes.
  • It's recommended you handle trees with gloves and a long-sleeve shirt.
  • You should also spray the tree with water before bringing it inside to get rid of any allergens.
  • For severe allergy sufferers, you should avoid real trees altogether.
  • If you can't resist, you shouldn't have the tree inside for more than seven days.
If artificial is more your style, you should still be aware of some things:

  • Always store artificial trees properly so they don't get full of dust and dirt in the off-season.
  • Wipe down your ornaments because they can collect a lot of dust throughout the year, too.
  • Some materials used to make artificial trees can also irritate sinuses.
Experts also recommend limiting the use of fake snow from aerosol cans. Too much of the fake, fluffy, white stuff can also irritate allergy sufferers.

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