Ah, Valentine’s Day, romance fills the air- but don’t let your guard down- there are dangers lurking everywhere for those who suffer from allergies! In a recent Mylan survey revealed that “as many as one in three parents report that their children with life-threatening allergies have experienced anaphylaxis on Valentine’s Day.” Naturally we may think- candy and kissing are the main dangers- but Anaphylaxis Campaign has released their Valentine campaign that highlights some other hidden dangers for allergy sufferers! I admit I have younger boys, so many of these risks I simply have not considered yet!
Restaurants. Going out to eat can be very risky if proper care is not taken in alerting staff of your allergens and speaking directly to the chef.
Massage oils can contain irritating ingredients- often sesame oil, or almond oil, so always read labels or call manufacturers!
Flowers. Pollen can trouble for allergy sufferers and asthmatics.
Chocolates can contain many potentially deadly cross contaminates or allergens including but not limited to peanuts, tree nuts, dairy, egg and soy.
Condoms. (Wow! Really?) Yes. Condoms may contain dairy or latex. [Remember, latex allergy is related to banana allergies- so use caution if you know you have an allergy to banana, kiwi, avocado, melons, and chestnuts!]
Kissing. Allergens can remain even after a person eats, especially problematic are nuts, but other foods can linger in saliva, stuck in teeth etc. The best advice is to avoid the allergens for 24 hours prior to locking lips with an allergy sufferer. Remember lipsticks, lip glosses can have oils, soy, gluten, and other allergens in them.
Sex. Nobody really talks about this, but you CAN get a sexually transmitted allergic reaction. There has been a proven case of a woman suffering an anaphylactic reaction from her boyfriend’s sperm after he had consumed Brazil nuts. [see story here].
REMEMBER the best way to stay safe is to have your Epinephrine available and on you at ALL times! Tell your date about your allergies, how to use your epinephrine device, and about your allergy action plan! Plan ahead! Order special allergen-safe chocolates, call restaurant or go and speak to the chef before your date about the allergens, and food preparation prior to your date. Avoid eating his/her allergens prior to your date if you want that kiss!
May you have a wonderful romantic, allergen-free Valentine’s day! XOXOXO!
Anaphylaxis Campaign posters shown here with express permission.