Going to the Movies: Lights, Camera … Allergies!


I took my 2 kids and one of my son’s friends to the movies on Saturday night -that’s right -one adult -3 kids…what could possibly go wrong?

Allergies & Asthma at the Movies

My daughter who is severely allergic to dairy, peanuts and tree nuts (anaphylactic) often gets snuffy at the movies. We usually wipe the seat and arm rests down but in this particular theater the seats were cloth, not vinyl nor plastic and so not very wipe-able. We buy her allergy-safe treats such as gummy candies (twizzlers, skittles, etc.) or bring our own popcorn or snacks from home. Half way through the movie she started to complain that she felt like she was going to vomit (“puke” in 6 year old terms) and that her throat felt funny. Instant worry and anxiety flooded over me.  Could she be having a reaction to the traces of unsafe ingredients in the theater??

We went to the bathroom, missing a good portion of the movie, to make sure she was o.k. While in there, I could hear a woman in another stall retching and making sounds like she was vomiting. When we came out of the stall, the woman was at the sink, washing her face. I asked her if she was o.k. and she said she thought she was having an asthma attack and that she forgot her puffers at home. She said that all of a sudden while in the movie with her 3 kids, she couldn’t breathe. She went to the bathroom (which I told her she shouldn’t do alone!!

If someone is having an allergy or asthma attack they shouldn’t go off alone in case emergency help is needed but often that’s exactly what people do b/c they are embarrassed and feeling sick right?)…

She was itching her ear and grabbing her throat and hacking.I asked her if it was possible that this was an allergic reaction rather than asthma and she said yes. I asked her if she had her epi-pen and she said she had left that at home also. All of a sudden I felt a worry that I might have to use the epipens I had brought for my daughter to help this woman and what if my daughter got worse and I didn’t have enough?!

 What a stressful situation! I asked her if I could call for medical help but she said no. She was feeling ok and wanted to wait for her children. I asked her to please wait outside in the lobby where there were many other people so that if she had a problem someone could help her.

She was gone when I came back out so I can only wonder and hope that she was o.k. I worried about her the whole rest of the movie. My daughter on the other hand was fine and I suspect she was actually just bored rather than actually having problems.

Ahhhhh what an UNENJOYABLE night at the movies! Next time I will rent one!!! What experiences have you had with allergies or asthma at the movies?

Hopefully the only action and drama you are having at the movies is what is on the screen!

With love,

Melissa xo

Original Post Date:  July 14, 2014.
Last Update: May 7, 2017.

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