Avoid allergens as you plan for February 14th
Think you’ve got Valentine’s Day covered? Be careful of anything that might cause your sweetheart to have a severe allergic reaction.
“Chocolates and flowers are lovely,” said allergist James Sublett, MD, president of the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (ACAAI), “but not if they cause an allergic response.”
The ACAAI says to consider these tips as you plan your romance:
A wed wose. How womantic. Nothing says Valentine’s Day like red roses. And for those allergic to plant pollen, it turns out that roses and some other plants produce very little or no pollen. Other allergy-friendly plants include begonia, cactus, clematis, columbine, crocus, daffodil and geraniums.
Oh, no—you shouldn’t have! If you’re pulling out the big guns—jewelry—make sure your lover isn’t allergic to the metals contained in some jewelry, particularly nickel. Nickel is found in many metal products, such as jewelry, zippers and buttons. Even chrome-plated objects and 14K and 18K gold contain nickel that can irritate the skin when the gold gets moist.
Yum! Hold on.… Most people know those with peanut allergies can have severe allergic reactions to anything nuts touch. But the most common food allergens also include eggs, fish, milk, shellfish, soy, tree nuts and wheat. If you’re showing off your culinary skills, make sure your sweetheart is OK with the ingredients. If you’ve made reservations at that swanky new restaurant, call ahead to make sure food allergies can be accommodated by the kitchen.
Uh-oh … that smell. Some people have a response to strong fragrances (think: perfume and cologne). It is generally a reaction to odors created by volatile organic compounds, which can trigger headaches, sneezing, watery eyes and a runny nose. If your loved one doesn’t wear perfume, it’s probably for a reason, and maybe that’s a gift best avoided.
Pucker up—with care. Yes, there really is something called a “kissing allergy.” It’s most commonly found in people who have food or medication allergies. Symptoms include swelling of the lips or throat, rash, hives, itching and wheezing. So what’s a lovebird to do? Allergists recommend the non-allergic partner brush his or her teeth, rinse his or her mouth and avoid the offending food for 16 to 24 hours before smooching.
Whatever your choices for wooing your loved one this Valentine’s Day, make sure it’s a gift that’s safe and allergy-free, because how romantic is spending the night in the emergency room?