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If your young person child lives with food or latex allergy, there are some things they need to keep in mind when dating…
Going on a date
Meeting in places that they know are safe and don’t trigger their allergies is important to consider when going on a date. Food free dates are the best option such as a visit to a museum or exhibition or leisure activities such as ice skating/walking/boating/bike ride.
Hand holding and kissing
Where possible, they should ask their date not to eat foods that they’re allergic to before the date. Food allergens may be present in the saliva up to four hours after the food is consumed. Kissing can cause some people to react to very small amounts of food allergens after the other person has eaten them. Tooth brushing or rinsing the mouth can help reduce this risk.
Allergic reactions during sex are unusual but can happen. They can include contact skin rashes, breathing difficulties and, for some, severe allergic reactions. The main culprits are condoms, which may contain milk and latex. Safer options are latex free condoms, which are available for free from family planning or student services. Remember, lubricants may also have scents/dyes/preservative, which can trigger reactions. Fortunately, reactions to semen are very rare, but some research shows that for some people, with severe food allergies, the semen can contain tiny amounts food protein. If symptoms do occur, a suitable condom will usually help to prevent further problems.
Pet hair, house dust mite and detergents present on materials and clothes, may increase the risk of triggering allergic conditions such as asthma, allergic rhinitis and eczema. As these can be difficult to avoid, encourage your young person to always carry their rescue medications so they can treat their symptoms promptly if an allergic reaction occurs.
Resources and information for teens and young adults with food allergy from our friends at Food Allergy Canada.