Allergy & Asthma Network Mothers of Asthmatics (AANMA)

WASHINGTON, DC, Feb. 6, 2012—Planning to celebrate the most romantic day of the year with your food-allergic sweetheart? Or is it the pollen, pet or mold allergies that have you worried about asthma symptoms flaring? Allergy & Asthma Network Mothers of Asthmatics (AANMA) offers these Cupid-studded tips.

A Romantic’s Cheat Sheet

Dining out: It’s one of the busiest nights of the year. Make special dietary requests at the time of your reservation. A discreet note passed to the waiter when you arrive can remind kitchen staff and servers to be watchful of your sweetheart’s special dish.

Dining in: Be as adventurous as you dare with flavors and cuisine, but read ALL food labels when included and stay away from known allergens.

Pucker up: Only if you’ve observed the same dietary cautions as your sweetie! If you’ve goofed and eaten foods your sweetheart’s allergic to, all is not lost. Brush your teeth and tongue, wash your face and hands and, by all mean, fess up!

Fuming fragrance: Perfumes evoke the senses, but can also provoke gasping and shortness of breath. Best to leave this one off the gift list unless it’s already passed the sniff test.

Floral congestion: A dozen red roses is usually safe, since there’s no pollen to snort up the nose by accident. Less traditional, a heart shaped wreath of pollen-free succulents is sure to please.

Snuggle bunnies: Clean up the bedroom. Do the laundry and put it away. Light candles if you like, but be sure they’re unscented. A sprinkled path of rose petals will be sexier on a floor that’s vacuumed, mopped (use a 50/50 vinegar and water solution) and free of dog or cat hair and dander. Use dust-mite-proof encasings on your mattress and pillows. Only the nose will notice!

Smoke-free: Nothing says “I love you” more than a commitment to stop smoking. Doesn’t cost a penny, either!

Petting with permission: Who doesn’t love a cuddly puppy, kitty, bunny or other pet — unless it comes with the prospect of daily medications, headaches, sneezing, rashes and/or shortness of breath for someone in the family! Check first or you’ll pay later.

Play detective: This is one gift that won’t be forgotten! Google “AANMA Indoor AIRepair Kit” for a free, room-by-room guide to where indoor allergens and irritants hide. If you find something you can fix — like mold growing behind the toilet tank or the bathroom exhaust fan that hasn’t worked for years — do it!

Be Prepared: Know the signs of an escalating asthma attack and anaphylaxis and take action at the first sign of symptoms. Before leaving home, make sure asthma and anaphylaxis medications travel with you. Everywhere. Every day. Learn and know how to use devices in case your loved one can’t.

It’s easy to say “I love you,” especially when your sweetie has allergies or asthma! For more tips, join AANMA, a national network of families with allergies and asthma that hasn’t forgotten how to have fun! Call 800-878-4403.