Christmas is coming and along with the excitement of preparing for Santa, visitors and parties, if you have allergies extra vigilance is required over the holiday season as an increase in allergic reactions usually occurs over this period. This year with COVID19 restrictions we will all need to take additional considerations into account and follow local public health advice to stay safe while having a good Chrismas.
Top tips to avoid triggers of Allergic reactions and Anaphylactic shock over the Christmas
If you have a food allergy, plan ahead for any festive celebrations, checking recipes and ingredients for allergens. House visits and eating out may be limited this year with COVID19 but if you are going to someone else house, phone a few days in advance & chat about your allergies. Check ingredients, share recipes or bring an allergy-friendly dish along.
Thanks to new legislation restaurants are getting better at catering for allergy customers but it’s always good to ring ahead and speak with the manager or chef and ensure they can cater for you and are prepared to avoid cross-contamination with oils and utensils which might be contaminated with an allergen. At this time of year, recipes can change to become more decorative. Food can be sprinkled with nuts or other allergens to look more festive.
Festive drinks can also cause problems for allergy and anaphylaxis. Christmas is a time when people break out new & interesting drinks which may have been spiced or flavoured. If you deviate from your usual tipple over the Christmas, it’s important to consider allergens such as
- Sulphites in wine
- Pine nuts in craft beer
- Almonds in some gins such as Beefeater and Bombay Sapphire
- Milk in cream liquors
- Gluten in beers & spirits
# Christmas Trees
Mould & pollen on real Christmas trees can cause problems for people with allergies. Ask a non-allergic buddy to give your tree a good shake & hose down & allow it to dry before bringing it into your home. The same applies for artificial Christmas trees and dust mite allergies.
When you locate those decorations in the attic they can be covered in dust causing problems for people with dust mite allergies. Wipe them down with a damp cloth and store in airtight plastic containers when putting them away to avoid dust build up.
# Poinsettia’s & Balloons
If you have a latex allergy be careful around poinsettias as these popular Christmas plants are a member of the rubber tree family & along with balloons can cause problems for people with latex allergies. Festive Ballloons can also be a problem so try and raise awareness amongst friends and work colleagues and go for latex-free balloons.
# Flying Home for Christmas
Contact your airline in advance and notify them of your allergies. For nut allergies ask if they will make an announcement restricting the sale of nut & nut products on the flight and to request that passengers do not open any nut products they have bought on board. Some airlines are very accommodating & will do this as a matter of course if you advise them of a severe peanut or tree nut allergy. Some may not, it’s better to know in advance and fly with airlines who will prioritise your safety. For more information, read our travelling with allergies blog.
#Kissing under the Mistletoe
If you have food allergies, having an allergic reaction immediately after kissing someone who has eaten the food or taken oral medication that you are allergic to can happen. Allergists recommend that the non-allergic partner brush his or her teeth, rinses his or her mouth and avoids the offending food for 16 to 24 hours before smooching with a person who is highly allergic to that food. For more information, read our kissing with allergies blog
If you’re going out for a night on the town over the Christmas period, make sure you have your adrenaline pens with you. If you’re going to a club, phone ahead to let them know about your adrenaline auto-injectors. Some bouncers may not allow you to take your pen inside the club and will offer to hold it for you. In the event of an allergic reaction, you may not be able to find them quickly so make sure to keep your pen with you at all times. You should also make sure you have medical jewellery or wristbands to let others know about your allergy. If you get separated from friends, it’s important that the people around you know what’s going on if you have an allergic reaction. Check out our great range here of EpiPen Cases here
Whether you are carrying EPIPEN , Emerade, Jext, Auvi-Q or Anapen auto-injectors check your adrenaline/ epinephrine auto-injectors are in date, store them at room temperature and make sure you carry two with you at all times along with some anti-histamine. They can only help you if you have them on you at the time. If you have food allergies, a good motto to keep you safe is ‘No pen, No Food!’ If you forget your pen either go home and get it or don’t eat. It may sound over the top but it could save your life. It may be a good idea to keep pens and antihistamine together in a small bag, this can help ensure that they are with you at all times. Check out our range of Epipen carriers and Medication bags big and small to suit all needs
Useful Products to have:
- EpiPen Case or Medicine Carry Bag: Consider an Adrenaline pen holder or Medicine Carry Bag so you can have your antihistamine, adrenaline and fully charged mobile on you in case of emergency.
- Allergy Alert Wristband or Medical Alert Jewellery: Consider an Allergy Wristband or Medical Jewellery with allergy information and emergency contact numbers.
- Large range of reusable face coverings and disposable masks for adults and kids
So with a little bit of planning & preparation, you can relax and enjoy Christmas. Wishing you a safe and happy Christmas from the team at Allergy Lifestyle
To help tell the difference between COVID 19 & Seasonal Allergy, flu or cold symptoms check the below infographic from http://aafa.org/covid19
#Staysafe from Allergy Lifestyle 💜
Disclaimer: The information provided is for informational purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Allergy Lifestyle Limited (t/a) Allergy Lifestyle) uses reasonable endeavours to check the accuracy of information provided however no warranty is given that they are error-free.