What’s more romantic than a beautiful bouquet of flowers, a box of decadent chocolates and a candlelit dinner with your sweetheart? Unfortunately, many of these iconic Valentine’s Day traditions contain hidden hazards that can spoil your holiday plans…
We’ve rounded up some Valentine’s Day safety tips to prevent common hazards from ruining your romantic night.
Prevent Food Allergies From Flaring Up Your Dinner Plans
Every 3 minutes, a food allergy reaction sends someone to the ER, according to FARE. Whether you’re preparing a home-cooked meal, reserving a table at your favorite restaurant or simply giving your special someone a box of chocolates, it’s important to verify that all ingredients are safe for them to eat.
Some common food allergens to be cautious of:
- Peanuts/Tree nuts
Be Careful with Cliché Gifts
Not sure what to get your loved one for Valentine’s Day? Before rushing out to the store, make sure you’re aware of what allergies they have.
Some common gift allergens to watch out for:
Perfume and Cologne
Sensitivity to fragrances affects more than 2 million people, and studies suggest that it’s on the rise. Before running out to your nearest department store, observe if your loved one wears perfume or cologne – if the answer is no, there is probably a reason why.
No one can resist a beautiful bouquet of flowers. But if your significant other is allergic to pollen, you should consider opting for “allergy-free plants” that produce very little to no pollen, like roses, begonias, daffodils, geraniums, crocus, columbine, clematis and cactus. That way, they can enjoy these natural beauties WITHOUT spending the rest of the evening fighting a stuffy nose.
While it is true that diamonds are a girl’s best friend, this isn’t always the case with jewelry in general. Before dropping your last few paychecks on that expensive necklace, find out if your sweetheart is allergic to nickel, a metal commonly found in jewelry. If they are, select an item made of stainless steel, 14K, 18K or 24K gold, pure sterling silver, copper, platinum, or titanium.
According to the ACAAI, even chrome-plated pieces of jewelry, as well as 14K and 18K gold contain nickel that can irritate the skin if it gets moist.
Spark the Romance … Not a House Fire
Between 2007 and 2011, candles started more than 10,600 home fires, causing more than 100 deaths, 900 injuries and $400 million in direct property damage. Enjoy a romantic candlelit dinner without burning your house down by opting for flameless, battery-powered candles instead of wax candles.
Preparing a home-cooked meal for your loved one? Never leave the kitchen unattended while the stove or oven is on. According to the National Fire Protection Association, cooking fires are the number one cause of home fires, with unattended cooking being the leading cause of kitchen fires.
Romantic Weekend Getaway? Protect Your Home Before You Leave
Planning a romantic weekend getaway for Valentine’s Day? Keep your home safe and secure while you’re away by taking these precautions before you leave:
- Install timers on your lamps to give the illusion that you’re home.
- Give a copy of your house key to a trusted neighbor or nearby friend in case of emergency.
- Post security company signs or “Beware of Dog” signs in your yard.
- Trim and prune shrubbery to eliminate hiding spots for potential burglars.
- Inspect all locks on doors and windows, especially on the ground floor.
- Avoid posting your travel plans and activities on social media channels until you are on your way home so potential burglars aren’t alerted to your unattended home.
- Consider leaving a car in the driveway to give the illusion that you’re home.
Show Your Furry Friends Some Love, Too
While a romantic evening filled with assorted sweets, flowers and personalized gifts is a classic Valentine’s Day tradition, these simple activities may pose potentially life-threatening hazards to our pets if not handled with care.
Show your pet some love by keeping these common Valentine’s Day hazards out of reach:
Candy and Chocolate
Cats and dogs love to eat… Unfortunately, tasty Valentine’s Day treats like chocolate and candy are very toxic to pets, and may trigger life-threatening allergic reactions if ingested.
Chocolate contains theobromine, a caffeine-like chemical that is highly toxic to pets. When ingested, chocolate may result in vomiting, diarrhea, increased thirst and urination, severe agitation, elevated heart rate, abnormal heart rhythms, tremors, seizures and collapse.
Candy usually contains xylitol, a sweetener that is toxic to pets. When ingested, xylitol may result in vomiting, loss of coordination, seizures and even liver failure.
Pets are curious creatures, but we all know the saying, “Curiosity killed the cat…” Prevent your pet from getting pierced by sharp thorns by keeping flowers like roses off the floor, and out of reach. All it takes is one bite, step or swallow to put your pet in the animal ER… not exactly the ideal way to spend Valentine’s Day.
Did you know that several common plants and flowers are actually toxic to pets? ASPCA provides a comprehensive list of toxic and nontoxic plants so you can ensure this year’s Valentine’s Day bouquet is pet-friendly.
Pieces of Wrapping Paper and Ribbon
Let’s face it, pets are like garbage disposals - they will eat just about anything and everything in sight. Prevent your pet from choking on remnants of wrapping paper and ribbon by keeping your pets in another room while opening presents and removing any trash on the floor when you’re done.