A Town Free From Allergies? Visit Baabe, Germany

Sloane Miller Health Guide
  • An entire town in Germany has taken allergy-friendliness to the next level.


    Baabe, Germany

    According to The Local, a German news Web site, "The German Baltic Sea resort town of Baabe is to be named the world's first "allergy-friendly community" by the European Centre for Allergy Research Foundation (ECARF)."


    Now this is news indeed: an entire oasis of allergy-freedom!


    "About one-third of Germans suffer from allergies, and experts expect numbers to rise due to climate change factors", says The Local. The population of Germany is approximately 82 million people; one third of that is 27 million allergy sufferers.

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    From the ECARF press release, Baabe, aptly named, has gone all out to ensure an allergy-free experience for tourists:


    From the houses/hotels: "Vacation rental homes, hotels, pensions... [have been] furnished with special mite-free mattress covers [and] have been certified allergy-friendly by ECARF.


    To the food: "Those with food allergies can find gluten-free and lactose-free groceries and prepared meals, as well as milk-free ice cream in the supermarket. The local baker provides egg-free and nut-free baked goods."


    To the climate: "Because of its bracing climate, Baabe has a very low pollen count, making it ideal for people with pollen allergies."


    It looks like they have thought of everything!


    The story in The Local continues: "Baabe has long been a health treatment resort destination and lies in a flat bay with little wind and a mild, low-pollen climate thought to be therapeutic to people with allergies and other environmental sensitivities...Pollen-rich trees will no longer be planted in the town, and a special pollen-catching net is under construction so scientists can analyze the town's pollen quantities...Other amenities for the über-sensitive include specific food allergy provisions, special vacuum cleaners to reduce dust, and nickel-free cooking implements."



    Traveling with allergies and asthma

    Traveling with environmental allergies, food allergies and allergic asthma can be at the least, troublesome, at the worst, hazardous. Very often I've found that my destination has unexpected allergens or pollens. Depending on the time of travel, this can make an otherwise pleasant vacation absolutely miserable. And sometimes there is just no way to know until you're already there. With summer fast approaching, many of us are making plans to go away.  Where to go and what will happen allergy-wise whilst there is always of concern.


    As the world's population of allergy and asthma sufferers rise, can allergy-friendly tourism be far behind? More and more amusement parks and baseball stadiums are turning their attention to creating an allergy-free zone, why not tourist locations? It seems like what would have been unthinkable a few years back is looking more and more like a necessity, even a certainty, for the near, increasingly allergic future.


    In America, it is estimated that 60 million people suffer with allergies and asthma according to the Allergy and Asthma Foundation of America. Even more reason we should start having allergy-free resort towns!

  • Here are some existing vacation spots that are already making accommodations for allergy sufferers (especially kids!):

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    Walt Disney World Resorts

    For several years now, Disney destinations have not merely honored special dietary requests but have made special and specific efforts to provide safe meals to families with food allergic, food intolerant children.


    Holiday World & Splashin' Safari

    A southern Indiana amusement park called, Holiday World & Splashin' Safari has joined the ranks of kid-focused parks that recognize the need for food allergic kid friendly foods.

    According to several news stories: "Holiday World & Splashin' Safari is selling gluten-free chocolate chip cookies, dairy-free ice cream bars and sucrose-free fudge. Restaurants at the park also offer pizza, chicken nuggets and other foods without ingredients such as fish, shellfish, milk, soy or eggs. Park President Will Koch says parents have expressed concerns in recent years about what foods their children could eat at the park near the town of Santa Claus. The park's 500 food employees also underwent training on food allergies."

Published On: June 17, 2008