#Scarfie FAQs

Here we answer all the frequently asked questions about #Scarfie

How do I wear my #Scarfie? 

It's completely up to you, although it's important that you wrap your scarf so that it covers your nose and mouth as this helps to warm up the air before you breathe it in. For many people with asthma, the cold air can trigger symptoms, but wearing a scarf wrapped loosely over the nose and mouth can help prevent this.

Can I use a buff, cycling mask or snood for my #Scarfie?

Anything that does the job of covering your nose and mouth is welcome!

Can I do a #Scarfie on my pet?

We’d love you to share your animal #Scarfies – in the past, we've had cats, dogs and horses. But please be kind to animals and only do a #Scarfie if your pet doesn’t mind having a scarf over their nose and mouth – and of course, if you’re sure they won’t trigger your asthma symptoms.

Is it OK for my young child to wear a scarf like this over their mouth and nose?

If your child is old enough to untie and remove the scarf if they need to, and they can breathe well all wrapped up, a scarf’s a good idea during the cold weather and they might want to get involved in the #Scarfie campaign.

But babies shouldn’t have anything covering their nose and mouth, or wear scarves at all because of the risk of strangulation.

Can my school/children’s school take part?

Yes! Why not encourage your school to have a #Scarfie day to help pupils and teachers be more aware of asthma and cold weather, and get a group shot? After you’ve got the picture consent forms signed, share your #Scarfie picture with Asthma UK on social media.

What if I’m allergic to wool?

Easy - dig out a scarf in another material like silk or cotton - or how about bamboo? Microfibre neck warmers are also a great idea particularly if you like to exercise outdoors.

Will people find me scary?!

If they do, why not use it as a chance to explain that more than five million people in the UK today have asthma and wearing a #Scarfie over your nose and mouth is an easy way to avoid symptoms. You might also recommend they read our page on supporting friends or colleagues with asthma

Can I take my #Scarfie if I’m out doing exercise?

Yes. If you’re still exercising outdoors despite the cold weather, a scarf over your mouth and nose is a good idea. You might want to go for something lightweight and breathable rather than a big woolly scarf, like a bamboo scarf or a microfibre neck warmer, which can double up as a sweatband when the weather warms up.

How is #Scarfie going to help people? Shouldn’t you be spending your time doing other things?

#Scarfie is a bit of fun, but there’s a serious message behind it. Winter can be a miserable time for people with asthma – and as many as three-quarters tell us cold air triggers their symptoms. Wrapping a scarf loosely over your nose and mouth to warm up the air you’re breathing is such a simple thing to do but it can help people avoid symptoms. So, by encouraging people to share their scarf selfies on social media, we’re not only spreading the word about this easy tip but highlighting how serious asthma can be.

If you want to find out what else we’re doing to stop asthma attacks and, ultimately, find a cure for asthma, visit our About us page

Isn’t it dangerous to tell people to do this instead of taking their medicines?

We’re saying do this alongside a good asthma routine. Wearing a scarf over your nose and mouth is just one way to avoid cold air triggering asthma symptoms, but sticking to your regular asthma medicines is a must if you want to stay well. Our message is take your medicines AND do a #Scarfie!

My job requires being outside a lot and my boss/health and safety won’t let me wear something over my face.

There’s a time and a place to wear a scarf over your nose and mouth and it could be that your workplace isn’t it one of them, for example if you’re working with heavy machinery.

But it’s definitely worth a chat with your employers so you can explain more about your asthma – and how in cold weather a scarf worn over your nose and mouth stops asthma symptoms.

Could you make your scarf work-friendly? Maybe wear a neck warmer rather than something long and trailing? And remember to do a #Scarfie in your spare time!

Can I buy an official Asthma UK scarf?

Not yet, but watch this space! 

Isn’t all that damp fabric over your nose and mouth just going to breed germs and viruses?

Cold, damp and rain-drenched scarves are definitely off the menu so make sure you always wear a dry scarf and wash it regularly to keep it bug-free.

Help! I wear glasses and they fog up when I wear a scarf over my nose and mouth.

Try anti-fog wipes or an anti-mist cloth –  or just wear your scarf over your mouth and breathe through your nose to warm the cold air before it gets to your airways.

Read more about #Scarfie and how this simple trick can help stop asthma attacks. 

Last updated November 2017