'Tis the Season to Give Allergen-Free Gifts 12/12/10
SUNDAY, Dec. 12 (HealthDay News) -- Buying gifts for people with
allergies or asthma requires special consideration, says the
American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (ACAAI).
For starters, avoid gifts of food and sweets.
"Food allergens lurk in all kinds of holiday treats, from fruitcake which may contain nuts, to cookies made with wheat," Dr. Myron Zitt, past-president of the ACAAI, said in a college news release.
Instead, give food lovers a gift certificate to their favorite
restaurant or give them non-food items such as coffee mugs, serving
platters or a new kitchen gadget.
Don't shop at the pet store, either. Dander, saliva and urine
from cats and dogs can trigger allergy and asthma symptoms. For
children, an alternative to a real animal would be a hypoallergenic
stuffed toy animal that's washable. These types of toys should be
washed weekly in hot water to rid them of allergy-causing dust
If you're considering jewelry as a present, don't buy costume
jewelry because it often contains nickel, a common allergen. While
18 karat gold is safe, it may be too costly. In that case, consider
something like a watch with a plastic band.
When it comes to clothing, avoid angora (rabbit fur) or wool,
including cashmere. The best bets for clothing are items made of
100 percent cotton, says the ACAAI.
Pass on the poinsettas: While festive, the plant can cause a
reaction in people allergic to latex (it's part of the rubber tree
Finally, avoid perfumes and scented candles, soaps or lotions.
Instead, look for allergen-free products.
The American Academy of Family Physicians outlines how you can
control your allergies.
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Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.