Riviera Allergy Medical Center (RAMC) knows that Valentine’s Day is full of loving thoughts, but it can also be a very dangerous time for people with allergies. Candy, flowers, dinner at a restaurant, cookies and even some massage lotions and fragrances can cause allergic reactions. Here are some recommendations from Dr. Ulrike Ziegner, our allergy treatment specialist, to help make Valentine’s Day safe for everyone:
- Flowers: Find out if your sweetie is allergic to flowers before they arrive on her doorstep. Unfortunately, many people are allergic to roses, but narcissus, gardenia, lily of the valley, and citrus can all cause an allergic reaction.
- Candy: This is probably a no-no as a gift for anyone with a nut allergy, but you also need to be careful of other allergens such as milk, eggs, fish, shellfish, soy and wheat. You definitely don’t want to buy a box of candy that contains any nut products, and be sure to read the label carefully to see if the candy was produced in a factory that handles nuts. You can search the internet to find companies that produce nut-free products or refer to this Peanut and Tree-Nut Free Candy List from the Bay Area Allergy Advisory Board.
- Restaurants: Once you are seated at the table it may be too late to ask about how the foods are prepared. Valentine’s Day is often one of the busiest times of the year. Servers and cooks may not be as attentive to your needs as they might be on other occasions. Call well in advance and speak to the manager about your concerns. Discuss menu items that you might be able to enjoy before making a reservation.
- Children with Allergies: More schools are aware of allergy problems, but it can be difficult to control your child’s intake when he or she is out of your control. A child may innocently pass out some type of candy, or a parent may inadvertently bring in a harmful snack. Kids With Food Allergies (KWFA) has some excellent suggestions on how to make Valentine’s Day safe and fun for everyone at school.
You can also check with RAMC to make sure all of your allergy shots are up-to-date, ask us about safe practices, and learn about actions to take in case of an allergic reaction. We can give you advice on how to manage and possibly even prevent them.
About RAMC – Riviera Allergy Medical Center offers comprehensive treatment for the most common food allergies, skin allergy medicine, and asthma prevention. Located at 1711 Via El Prado, Suite 101 in Redondo Beach, the allergy and asthma center is headed by renowned seasonal allergy treatment specialist, Dr. Ulrike Ziegner. Visit the website and Facebook page or call 310-792-9050 for more information or to schedule an appointment for allergy treatment.