Allergies & Anaphylaxis at Christmas

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. See our

Top tips to avoid triggers of Allergic reactions and Anaphylactic shock over the Christmas

 # Food
If you have a food allergy, plan ahead for any festive celebrations, checking recipes and ingredients for allergens.  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.

# Drinks
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 fake Christmas trees and dust mite allergies.

# Decorations
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.

# 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 here:

#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 here:


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 now 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 it’s best 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: Adrenaline Pens

Whether you are carrying  EPIPEN® , Emerade®, Jext®, Auvi-Q® or Anapen® auto-injectors check your adrenaline pens 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 cases and medication bags big and small:

So with a little bit of planning & preparation you can relax and enjoy Christmas. Wishing you a safe and happy holiday from the team at Allergy Lifestyle

This article is not intended nor recommended as a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider regarding any medical condition or treatment. Never disregard medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read in this article.


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