As the 14th February approaches, love is in the air.
For people living with a severe allergy, this innocent annual celebration can lead to unpleasant and potentially serious consequences with a not so romantic trip in an ambulance to the nearest hospital.
Valentine’s day is a day for love, romance gifts, and activities. Maybe flowers, chocolates, a candlelit dinner, stolen kisses, and embraces, but people with severe allergies still need to stay vigilant and careful.
To ensure cupid’s arrow hits the right spot on Valentine’s Day, please be aware of these potential risks;
- Relationships: We advise that you talk to your partner and remind them of your allergies in advance and equally to ask if your partner has any allergies
- Meals out: It is important that you make your allergies known to the staff and management of the restaurant and food outlets
- Takeaway meals: Make sure you always ask about the ingredients and allergens in dishes and double check when the food arrives that it is free from your allergen
- Kissing: allergens can remain in the saliva for several hours (2-24 hrs) and brushing teeth before kissing may not get rid of them effectively
- Condoms: These can pose a real risk to people with latex and, also milk allergies
- Chocolates: Nut and milk risk and possibly soya
- Flowers: Some individuals may be allergic to pollen commonly found in trees, grasses, and weeds – but also flowers. In individuals with allergy and asthma, inhalation of pollen can trigger asthma symptoms and could bring on an attack
- Adrenaline auto-injector: ensure you are always carrying two in date AAIs with you
- Perfumes: Food ingredients, such as oils, can also turn up in non-food products including cosmetics, toiletries, medicines and bath and massage oils.
Lynne Regent, Chief Executive Officer of the Anaphylaxis Campaign said; “Severe, life-threatening allergy is often underestimated or even completely ignored when it comes to annual special occasions. We want to raise awareness of this issue and, also let severe allergy patients know our tips and advice to enjoy these events safely.”
If you have a severe allergy, be aware of the risks, be careful, but above all enjoy yourself!
We have more information and advice about eating out when you have a food allergy on our website here.
If you have any concerns or questions, please contact our helpline team at [email protected] or call 01252 542 029.