It’s almost Valentine’s Day! It’s a time for romance. A time for schoolchildren to exchange silly cards. And a time for those with asthma and allergies to be extra careful about their triggers.
Share the #TealLove this Valentine's Day! What is #TealLove? It is being inclusive of those with asthma and allergies. Your sweetheart won’t appreciate a bottle of perfume or a beautiful bouquet that makes them sneeze and wheeze.
What are common triggers?
- Allergens in meals and food gifts – Shellfish, including oysters, are a common allergen. So are peanuts and nuts, which are often found in chocolates and other desserts. Any food can be an allergen, so talk to your Valentine to make sure you know all of the foods they need to avoid.
- Skin allergens – Some people react to latex products or nickel-plated jewelry. Personal care items such as moisturizers, massage lotions and cosmetics may also trigger an allergic reaction.
- Inhalation allergens – Watch out for the pollens in cut flowers and the molds in indoor potted plants. Avoid non-washable stuffed animals, perfumes and colognes, cigarette smoke, wood fires and scented candles. Clean the house while your loved one is not there so that any dust can settle down before they return.
- Other asthma triggers – Stress can trigger asthma and so can laughter. Knowing what your loved-one's triggers are can help you when planning activities.
How can you make it safer?
Plan to keep your celebration relaxed and fun.
- Do some cleaning – Surprise your Valentine with a clean house! Learn how to improve indoor air quality in the bedroom, living room and kitchen. Wash and change the sheets, scrub the bathroom and change out the furnace filters. Be sure to do all this while the person with allergies and asthma is out of the house. This will reduce the dust and mold in the air when they return.
- Plan a fun meal – Avoid the stress of eating out and cook a healthy and food-allergy safe meal. Consider planning the menu around a “red” and/or “heart-shaped” theme. Check out Kids With Food Allergies’ Allergy-Friendly Valentine’s Day Recipes for some delicious ideas.
- Play it safe – Holidays are not a good time to try new products, foods or locations. A fun night at home can be just as romantic with a little planning.
- Give a thoughtful gift – Donate to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America in honor of someone with asthma and allergies. Tell us a little about your special person.
What are asthma and allergy-friendly gift ideas?
Here are some ideas for sweethearts big and small:
- Handmade card
- Love notes scattered throughout the house
- Gift card for a massage or a favorite store
- “Coupon” book
- Framed photo
- Photo collage for computer or phone screens
- Allergy-friendly stuffed animals
- Nickel-free jewelry
- Arts and crafts supplies (avoid anything that could trigger asthma and allergies)
- Movie night with safe snacks
- Game night
Download and share these gift ideas!
Remember, Valentine’s Day is all about love. Show how much you care by creating an asthma and allergy-friendly celebration that everyone can enjoy.