Is your Christmas tree making you sick?

WICHITA FALLS, TX (KAUZ) - Real Christmas trees are often associated with allergies, but if you are feeling a bit under the weather it could because of an artificial tree.

"More commonly it's just the dust and the dust mites that live on dust that trigger the allergies that we have," pediatrician, Dr. Terry Johnson said.

Those allergies can develop into something more. Just ask John Lankford. His sons, Cooper (5) and Colter (3) were diagnosed with severe sinus infections.

"It was ironic to me when he asked me, well when did you guys set up your Christmas tree,?" Lankford said.

Lankford said his boys began to feel ill the Friday after Thanksgiving, the day they put their Christmas tree up.

"We never thought to put the two together," Lankford said.

But, after taking them to the doctor he found out the artificial Christmas tree was likely to blame.

"Bringing down something like that with all that dust and years of build up can really have an effect on the little ones, and it obviously has," Lankford said.

While real trees have often been associated with allergies, Dr. Johnson said fur and pine trees are not ones people in Texoma would be allergic too.

Dr. Johnson recommends taking a leaf blower to your artificial tree before bringing it in your home to decorate and after taking it down for the holiday season.

"It's very effective at blasting the dust off," Dr. Johnson said.

As for next year, the Lankfords are keeping their Christmas tree options open.

"I'm not a big fan of waste. I don't like throwing things away so we would probably do our best to get this tree in shape and cleaned up and packaged correctly as best we can to prevent this from happening next year," Lankford said.

Samantha Forester, Newschannel 6

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