A natural Christmas tree in the house is unlikely to prompt a reaction in babies

Babies are unlikely to show an allergic reaction to cut or live Christmas trees.

Can a baby be allergic to a Christmas tree?

Mold spores on a fresh-cut Christmas tree can aggravate allergies in older children and adults, but inhaling mold, pollen, pet dander and other frequent causes of “hay fever” is rarely the cause of allergic reactions in infants. Food allergies are more common in babies.

Allergic reactions develop after exposure to the trigger. Before age 1 or 2, babies typically haven’t had enough exposure to inhaled allergens to develop a reaction.

“If your newborn is sneezing, coughing, has watery eyes or other symptoms of a seasonal allergy, check with your pediatrician before treating a child under age 2 with antihistamines even if they are available over the counter,” said Maria T. Bowling, M.D., pediatrician with Norton Children’s Medical Group – Windy Hills.

If your baby has allergy symptoms, contact your pediatrician, who may want to rule out other possible causes, according to Dr. Bowling.

Older children and adults are susceptible to increased mold levels from bringing a pine tree indoors.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, inhaling or touching mold spores may cause a reaction in people who are allergic to them.

Norton Children’s Medical Group

After-hours access and more than 20 pediatrician offices through the Louisville area and Southern Indiana

Find a pediatrician

Symptoms of the allergy — sometimes called Christmas tree syndrome — include:

  • Runny nose
  • Congestion
  • Red, itchy eyes
  • Skin rash

Solutions include an artificial tree or opening a window for several minutes each day to help prevent allergic reactions.

Signs and Symptoms COVID-19 Cold Influenza Allergies
Symptom onset Abrupt Gradual Abrupt Abrupt
Fever Common Rare Usually; lasts 3 to 4 days No
Aches Sometimes Slight Usually; often severe No
Chills Common Uncommon Fairly common No
Fatigue, weakness Sometimes Sometimes Usually Sometimes
Sneezing Rare Common Sometimes Common
Stuffy nose Rare Common Sometimes Common
Sore throat Sometimes Common Common No
Chest discomfort, cough Common Mild to moderate; hacking cough Common; can be severe Sometimes
Headache Sometimes Rare Common Sometimes
Extreme exhaustion Sometimes Never Common No
Shortness of breath When serious Rare Rare Sometimes
Runny nose Rare Common Sometimes Common
Diarrhea Sometimes No Sometimes No
New loss of taste or smell Common No No No

Norton Children's Medical Group

Norton Children's Medical Group – Windy Hills

Location Details

Norton Children's Medical Group – Broadway

Location Details

Norton Children's Medical Group – Crestwood

Location Details

Norton Children’s Medical Group

Norton Children’s Medical Group, affiliated with the UofL School of Medicine, offers pediatric primary care at more than 20 locations throughout Louisville and Southern Indiana.
Find a pediatrician

Search our entire site.