Want to go trick-or-treating or sit in a haunted house this Halloween? Beware: You might be a terrible host

Want to go trick-or-treating or sit in a haunted house this Halloween? Beware: You might be a terrible host

Every year around the same time, there is a supposed wave of coughs, splutters and wheezes spurred on by the festivities. Everyone expects it to be just as virulent this year, but will it be the same for a different age group, with different ailments?

This year, the reports are pretty much the same.

Over-the-counter drugs – cough suppressants, sinus pain remedies, etc – are popping up on emergency room charts. Sleeplessness, nausea, headache, fever, muscle aches, fatigue and cough are up on the hospital charts, too.

Some of it might be seasonal – some children are already bored with school – and some of it might be seasonal phenomena. The CDC offers a tasty explanation.

“Despite highly publicized seasonal cough and cold viruses, the seasonal viruses can actually have very mild – even, in some cases, negative – effects,” says the agency’s Health.gov, a website which hosts medical news, consumer advice and statistics. “Even if children are given the seasonal vaccine, an influenza or other respiratory infection can still be the reason they cannot attend school.”

Still, there is research suggesting that children don’t get sick as much on Halloween and other fall holiday gatherings, according to Lisa Lutzke, an emergency medicine physician at Children’s Mercy Hospitals & Clinics in Kansas City, Kansas.

Our social behaviors may play a role in this. Halloween and holiday party attendance rises as the weather gets colder, Lutzke said, but “what really matters is that kids aren’t sick, especially around holiday parties”.

So even though children may not be as sick this year, you might not be able to persuade them to come to the party.

“There’s an increased cost associated with a child not coming, even if it’s really a cost they’d be willing to deal with,” Lutzke said.

Adults might also be reluctant to venture out for trick-or-treating at this time of year if they don’t want to encounter bed bugs, fleas, sneezing, coughing, or some other germy nuisance.

If you’re really worried about going for a walk on the other side of the forest, instead, cover up your chin with a fake hairnet and get a last-minute look in for that bigger house.

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