The Dallas Morning News: As if Valentine’s Day weren’t Complicated Enough: Did you Consider Allergies?

Published: 09 February 2015 06:04 PM

Updated: 09 February 2015 06:08 PM

And now, a romance-killing warning from the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology:

When choosing a Valentine’s Day present for your sweetheart, make sure it won’t trigger an allergic reaction.

“You need to be vigilant when it comes to giving gifts to someone with allergies,” Dr. James Sublett, president of the group, says in a prepared statement.

While most people are aware of the threat posed by peanut allergy, other common food allergens include eggs, milk, tree nuts, fish, shellfish, wheat and soy. So if you’re baking or cooking to celebrate Valentine’s Day, check that the ingredients are safe for the recipient.

If you’re planning a meal at a restaurant you’ve never been to before, call ahead to make sure they can accommodate any food allergies your sweetheart might have. Before making a gift of cologne or perfume, make sure that’s not going to pose a problem.

Pollen can be an allergy trigger, so certain flowers might be a bad idea. However, some plants produce very little or no pollen. These include roses, begonias, daffodils, geraniums, crocus, columbine, clematis and cactus, according to the ACAAI.

Jewelry is another potential allergy trigger. Many people are allergic to nickel, which is common in jewelry. Even chrome-plated and 14K and 18K gold contain nickel that can irritate the skin.

Some people with food or medication allergies can suffer an allergic reaction when kissing others who have the allergens in their mouth. To prevent this “kissing allergy,” the nonallergic partner should brush his or her teeth, rinse his or her mouth, and avoid the offending food for 16 to 24 hours before any smooching, the allergy group advised.

Maybe we should all just stay home alone.