There’s nothing better than giving gifts to loved ones during the holidays – unless your gift unintentionally triggers an allergic reaction. If you know or suspect a friend or family member has allergies, gift buying requires special consideration. Here are some allergy-friendly gift giving tips recently offered bySun Times.

Avoid giving homemade treats like candies and cookies. Though these gifts are certainly thoughtful, they can also be unintentionally dangerous, as food allergens tend to be in most popular holiday treats. Cookies made with wheat and fruitcakes containing nuts can touch off allergic reactions. Looking for a gift for a foodie friend? Consider a gift certificate to their favorite restaurant, or kitchen gifts like cooking gadgets or serving platters.

Considering a fluffy pet for the family on Christmas morning? Reconsider your stop at the pet store, especially if any family members have not spent significant time around animals. Pet dander and saliva can trigger asthma and allergy symptoms. Many people don’t realize they are allergic to pets until they own one. If you absolutely must choose a cuddly holiday gift, consider short-haired pets like hamsters, an aquarium of colorful fish, or a hypoallergenic dog breed.

Choosing a sparkly gift for that special someone? Avoid buying jewelry with nickel, which can cause skin reactions. Instead, opt for gold. Though it may be the more expensive option, it’s also the safer choice.

Stay away from strongly scented products. Perfumes, scented candles, and soaps or lotions with fragrance added can be an irritant. Other fragrant holiday mainstays that can cause allergic reactions include Christmas trees, which can cause respiratory reactions, and poinsettias, which are part of the rubber tree family and may cause reactions in people who are sensitive to latex.

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