Going On A Date? Kissing and Peanut Allergy

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When young people get together, caution is often thrown to the wind.

However, if you have a peanut allergy, a quick or passionate kiss can trigger an allergic reaction.

Exposure to peanut protein can occur through saliva contact when we kiss or share eating utensils with someone who has eaten peanuts through food containing peanuts.

Research reveals that a kiss can trigger an allergic response even if the peanut-eaters have brushed their teeth, rinsed or chewed gum. After consuming peanuts, it takes one to four hours for the peanut protein in someone’s saliva to become undetectable.

Preventing Reactions

The most effective way to reduce kiss-generated allergy risk after eating peanuts, other than not kissing, is to wait a few hours and eat a peanut-free meal before locking lips.

It is preferable to minimize risk further by asking your date to avoid eating foods containing peanuts. This means if you plan on kissing the person you spend time with, they need to be educated about peanut allergies. While it is definitely not a romantic subject, talking about it is preferable to experiencing itching, swelling, coughing, rash, or anaphylaxis while on a date.

Your dates need to understand:

  • How little peanut it takes to trigger a reaction.
  • What your usual symptoms are when a reaction occurs.
  • What your emergency plan is.
  • If you carry one, how to use an auto-injector.

Anyone who is unwilling to take your peanut allergy seriously and take the necessary precautions for your safety is not worthy of your time.

For your own safety, remember these four tips:

  1. Always check on the safety of food BEFORE eating it. Even friends and family who know about your allergy can make mistakes.
  2. Check food product labels EVERY time. Familiar products sometimes change their ingredients.
  3. Educate and train people you spend time with, including co-workers. Allergic reactions can happen any time and in unexpected places.
  4. If you have life threatening symptoms, use your auto-injector and get emergency help for a reaction. Never worry about what others think, or about ruining a good time.

Source: JACI Online Photo credit: Aaron Shumaker / flickr creative commons

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