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BellaOnline's Allergies and Colds Editor

Gift ideas for allergy sufferers

Play Santa to yourself or others with food or environmental allergies by buying practical and useful gifts that will help alleviate symptoms.

A gift basket of natural, fragrance-free cleaners can help allergy sufferers avoid unnecessary exposure to perfumes and chemicals. Method’s “Go Naked” line of soaps and household cleaners is fragrance and dye free, as well as biodegradable. You can purchase Method products at Target stores or on line. They are priced from $2.99 and up.

A Neti pot would be a welcome gift for someone with nasal or sinus allergies. The small ceramic or plastic pots are used to cleanse the sinus passages with a warm saline solution. Regular use can reduce allergy symptoms and prevent colds. Prices range from $12-$18. Find them in health and nutrition departments or stores.

Purchase a Gund stuffed animal for an allergic child. They’re hypoallergenic and machine washable to keep mites under control. Choose a frobbit, puppy, giraffe, frog, bear, inchworm or lamb. The animals are priced from $10.99-$28.00. Look at the complete line on www.achooallergy.com.

A child with peanut or milk allergy might enjoy a food allergy T-shirt ($13.95). Table topper disposable placemats are another option for children with food allergies. The placemats help protect children from allergens, germs and chemicals when eating out. They come in packs of 50 and sell for $18.95. Food allergy restaurant cards for $9.99 might make a good stocking stuffer. The wallet-size cards can be shown to servers and kitchen staff at restaurants when ordering meals out. Purchase these products at the same website mentioned above.

A HEPA filtration vacuum cleaner could help reduce household dust and allergens for individuals with allergies or asthma. The vacuums leak less allergens by using two-to-three layer micro fiber bags. Prices are $300 and up. Can’t spend that much. Try giving universal attachments, such as mini-blind, ceiling fan or pet cleaner. They will fit any standard-size vacuum. Another option would be an air purifier, priced from $150-$650.

For those who have food allergies, a gift certificate to a co-op or health and nutrition store might be the perfect choice. You can even give a gift that is free—a subscription to Glutenfreeda.com, an on-line cooking magazine for individuals who are wheat or gluten-intolerant. Sign up on the website.

Pizza lovers who can’t eat wheat or gluten might appreciate a shipment of Dad’s Gluten-free Pizza Crusts, given a five-star rating on www.celiac.com. The crusts are made from white rice, potato and tapioca flours. Ten-inch crusts sell for $7.99. Free shipping is offered with orders of ten or more. Find other baked goodies and treats for those who are gluten, wheat intolerant on the same website.

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