I read about a woman who was allergic to most smells in dyes and perfumes; they cause severe migraines when she goes out into public. Would you be willing to switch to a new laundry detergent and give up candles and the like if a kid in your child's school was allergic?
I'm not a fan of having my home life choices regulated in that way.
Like Kim, I am very leary of people's "requirments" like this because from experience, people tend to exaggerate their illnesses and allergies (and their kids) for drama's sake. My kids both wear perfume to school. It's a Latin thing. We put cologne on our babies from day one (as did I when I was young and everyone I knew growing up) and I have never heard of someone complaining so much so that they ask people to stop wearing it.
Not to mention, I get migranes all the freakin time. And they do come on by smells. I can't walk by a Bath and Body works or a Yankee Candle without holding my nose or else I can feel the migrane behind by right eye coming. I do not allow strong candles or inscense in my home and the worst of my smell induced migranes come from christmas smells. F***ing pine trees and cinnamon! December is like one huge migrane month for me because everywhere is the smell of those stupid cinnamon pine cones and brooms at every cash register. But I don't expect people and stores to cater to me or for everyoen to stop having Christmas trees. I try to adjust my habits.
I just think people now a days feel so entitled to everyone changing for them and their needs so they can be comfortable. I don't mean to be harsh or uncaring,but at some point it just gets to be too much. And if there was a kid who for some reason had an allergy I might try and tone it down or maybe, depending how much I felt the concern was actually founded, stop using it. But part of me still thinks it's BS and I would rather they find another way to deal with it then by telling people what they can and cannot wear, eat, do. Where do we draw the line? I mean if there was a kid who was "super allergic to dog hair" woudl you tell all the kids in their class to get rid of their dogs because they bring the hair on their clothes?
Plus, I doubt a kid is wearing that much cologne or that the kids perfume sensitivity is so bad that you can smell it through the whole room and be sick. I'd rather they just move the kid farther away from the kid who wears cologne.
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Heavy scents and candles seem to exacerbate DH's asthma, so we go completely unscented in our house. But we would never ask someone else to do the same in their own house just to make it easier on DH. Well, with the exception of my mom. My mom LOVES burning scented candles and there is usually one burning when we go to her house. It always bothers DH, but he has forbidden me to say anything to her about it because he doesn't want her to feel bad or feel like he's telling her what to do in her own home. But I want to, because I always feel bad for him, and it's my mom. She loves DH as much as she loves me, and I know she would stop burning them when he's around in a heartbeat if she just knew about it.
Otherwise, if it is not someone that you are superclose with like your mom, I would say that no, it is not reasonable to ask people to stop doing that in their own home.
I know that's a complete 180 from where I was in the peanut debate, but I don't really believe that strong scents can kill someone, unlike peanuts. As far as I know, it may give them a headache or (in the case of DH) make them have to whip out their inhaler more often, but I've never heard of it being actually deadly.
I will say that if I knew that strong scents was causing a classmate to have migranes or making their asthma act up, I wouldn't send my kid to school wearing perfume or cologne. Then again, that's not a sacrifice for me since no one in our house can wear cologne anyway.
I believe the onus is on the individual to keep themselves safe. If a workplace/school can reasonably accommodate than great, but it isn't reasonable to except others to change their habits at home for you.
I worked with a woman extremely sensitive to fragrances. She would get bad headaches with perfumes. All the people who worked around her would leave the perfume/cologne at home and generally respected her sensitivities. It was no big deal. In fact, the dress code at that office was very clear about the use of perfumes or heavily scented lotions - leave them at home.
Above and beyond that, I'm not about to change my family's bathing/laundry routines in the attempt to eliminate every potential allergen (and allergens that are specific to that ONE particular person - it could be completely different for the next allergic person). My children use products that work for their skin because they are prone to eczema and rashes, and if there's an ingredient in those products that happens to make another person outside our home react with a headache, sorry. Now, if some little kid in my daughter's class was allergic to strawberry-scented lipgloss, then I'm not going to send my kid to school armed with Lipsmacker. That's well within the realm of reason.
If anything, I can understand going scent-free a lot more than going peanut butter free. I can imagine lots of situations where peanut butter is useful, bordering on necessary (my kids school is peanut-free but not nut-free altogether, so we sub almond butter), but perfumes and colognes? Who needs those? I wouldn't expect people to stop wearing scents for me, but I do put it in the 100% wholly unnecessary category.