Allergy UK’s top tips for a safe Easter
Easter 2019 falls on Sunday 21st April. Most Easter traditions involve food and the outdoors, so those living with food, pollen, insect venom and other allergies may need to take precautions to keep safe whilst enjoying the fun.
Easter eggs, chocolate bunnies and hot cross buns are just some of the treats associated with Easter, but these may not be allergy-friendly for those living with a food allergy.
- You may want to prepare your own allergy-safe treats at home to take to Easter egg hunts and other events so that your child isn’t left out. Alternatively, host a non-food Easter hunt hiding toys instead of traditional chocolate eggs.
- Take part in Easter/Springtime craft activities instead of the food-based activities (be aware of crafts involving allergens, such as eggshell decoration and painting egg boxes).
- Easter is often a time for visiting visit families and friends, so let them know in advance of any dietary needs and food allergies. If you are cooking or baking for a food allergic person, keep it simple, read food labels and keep the labels of ingredients you use as your guests may also want to check them.
- When shopping for Easter treats, always check ingredients labels - remember that ingredients can change from time to time, so something that was safe in the past may not be safe now.
- Keep allergy medication in an accessible place at all times especially when eating outside of the home. Pharmacies may close or have limited opening times over the Easter Holidays so make sure your medication needs are taken care of before.
Easter 2019 falls firmly within the tree pollen season, so those living with tree pollen allergies need to be cautious. It is also the start of grass and weed pollen season so people with these pollen allergies may also experience problems.
- Monitor pollen forecasts, as this can help with planning time spent outside. Avoid going out when counts are high, which is often first thing in the morning and during the early evening.
- There are many different types of hay fever medications and treatments available depending on the symptoms you have including antihistamines, nasal spray, and eye drops easily accessible from pharmacies. Non-medication type treatment options include saline nasal rinses and nasal allergen barrier balms which may help prevent pollen entering your nose and reduce symptoms.
- If you have been outside on high pollen days, shower and wash your hair after arriving home and change your clothing to remove pollen.
- Although it may be tempting to open the windows for some fresh spring air, those with pollen allergy should keep their windows shut to prevent pollen entering the home.
- Avoid drying washing on a clothes-line outside when pollen counts are high.
- You may want to invest in an air purifier to remove pollen from your indoor environment (see Allergy UK’s approved products).
The Easter Bunny & friends!
The Easter Bunny is an iconic feature of Easter, however rabbits and other animals can cause unpleasant symptoms for people with allergies to pet dander.
- Be cautious around events where animals may be present (farms often have springtime activities involving animals). Avoid touching animals and wash your hands regularly.
- Check with family or friends you are visiting if they have any pets. You may want to meet somewhere outside of the home if they have a pet that you or your family member are allergic too.
- If you have asthma or allergic rhinitis that is triggered by pet dander ensure this is well controlled by using your medication for asthma/allergic rhinitis and consider using an antihistamine to help control symptoms
Have a happy and safe Easter from Allergy UK!