Valentine’s Day is fast approaching and millions of people are making plans and buying gifts to show their partner how much they care. But what if you or your partner has allergies? Is it still possible to have a fun and romantic Valentine’s Day? Thankfully the answer is yes!
There are many different types of allergies and unfortunately some can be life-threatening. On occasions like Valentine’s Day food allergies can be tricky to navigate, as many commercially produced foods and candies contain allergens and some restaurant workers may be overwhelmed with an increased amount of diners. (If you’re a restaurant owner or employee and would like more information on safely serving customers with food allergies we offer a Restaurant Food Safety Course.)
You or your partner may feel anxious about the presence of allergens, but it is very possible to minimize risks and have a safe Valentine’s Day. Just be mindful of the following:
- Food allergies
- Mold and Dust allergies
- Metal Allergies
Here are some tips for having an allergy-friendly Valentine’s Day keeping these three allergies in mind:
Don’t be afraid to ask, “What’s in this?” – Food allergies
The eight most common allergens are peanuts, milk, eggs, tree nuts, shellfish, soy, fish, and wheat. Many commonly served foods on Valentine’s Day, such as chocolates or desserts, can contain these ingredients. Carefully read ingredient labels to ensure that the product you’re buying is allergen-free. Also be aware of cross contamination or mix-ups. For example, it might be too risky to give a nut-allergic person a heart-shaped box of mixed chocolates as some of the chocolates could contain nuts while others don’t. Err on the side of caution.
If you’re unsure if a restaurant will cater to allergic individuals or you’re not sure what’s in the candy or dessert you were planning to buy, your best bet is to make something yourself or with your partner at home.
Consider an alternative to flowers or teddy bears. – Mold and Dust Allergies
A rose by any other name… might irritate your beloved’s allergies. Not because of the pollen associated with the flower, but rather the mold and the scents of flowers could cause a nasal reaction (coughing, sneezing, puffy or watery eyes, etc.). An interesting fact is that the pollen from flowers is actually too big to trigger an allergic reaction. Who would have thought?
Another gift to be wary of during Valentine’s Day are teddy bears or other stuffed animals. While from the outside, these harmless stuffed animals are cute and cuddly, they are also known carries of dust mites, a major trigger for people with dust allergies.
You may want to forego gifts of flowers and teddy bears in favor of more allergy-friendly gifts, such as a thoughtful letter, card, or an “experience” gift such as tickets to an event or museum.
Rethink the necklace. – Metal allergies
Valentine’s Day is popular for giving jewelry to the one you love, but before making a potentially pricey purchase double check that they aren’t allergic to any metals or other materials that are used in jewelry. For example, nickel is a common skin-irritating allergen that is often used to make jewelry (and is even found in some gold jewelry).
Remember that the point of Valentine’s Day is to show the one you love that you care for and support them. If you are celebrating Valentine’s Day with allergies, being careful and considerate will be appreciated.
If you have any questions about allergies don’t hesitate to reach out to us. We are here to help! Feel free to give us a call at 212-729-1283 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.