Do holiday allergies get you coughing instead of caroling?

The holidays around the end of the calendar year tend to create spikes in food and nut allergies as people whip up nutty pies, pastries, and other traditional holiday treats that contain common allergens.

Don’t let holiday allergies spoil your time with family and friends with the following techniques and strategies:

Promoting allergy awareness among others as either a host or a guest

One of the most effective methods to reduce the occurrence of holiday allergies from nuts, eggs, dairy, and other foods is to make sure people are aware of any common allergies. Ensure that guests and hosts receive adequate communications about any possible allergens.

Email invitations, e-vite tools, social media channels, or other methods of communicating help all guests at holiday functions to mind potential allergies. Effective communication also ties into the following method to help reduce holiday allergies:

Providing a variety of hypoallergenic/allergy neutral foods and treats

Guests or hosts at a holiday function can easily reduce the likelihood of holiday allergies by providing foods that don’t use common allergens like nuts or gluten.

Kids with Food Allergies, a division of the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA), provides great resources of hypoallergenic holiday recipes for several holidays including Christmas and Chanukah. For example, egg and milk-free cookies can provide a tasty and festive treat for all guests during the holidays!

Providing hypoallergenic foods and desserts allow every guests to enjoy the yuletide season and the tasty treats that come with it, but there is one more step that is equally important to reduce holiday allergies:

Supporting allergy prevention behaviors and seeking serious anaphylaxis treatment

Every holiday function should be mindful of simple ways guests can prevent allergies. These prevention behaviors include regular hand-washing before and after eating, separating potentially allergic foods from those with allergies, and labeling potential allergic substances to prevent allergic individuals from making contact with allergens.

Behaviors such as proper medication adherence, wearing smart devices or alert bracelets, and keeping a nearby epi-pen with epinephrine on their person at all times helps reduce the likelihood of an allergic reaction.

In the event that a person with allergies should experience anaphylaxis and go into anaphylactic shock, take the person to the nearest urgent care center immediately.

Taking the time and preventive steps to reduce holiday allergies can help you, and your family, enjoy the holiday season well after Santa Claus comes to town.