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Halloween Tips That Will Help Reduce The Risks For Kids With Allergies

October 31, 2017

With Halloween approaching, you can definitely feel the excitement in the air, especially from little ones who plan to go trick-or-treating. Dressing up as your favorite princess or superhero, walking through your neighborhood with all the other kids in their costumes, and going to front door after front door to fill your bag up with candy. What’s not to like, right?

For parents of children with allergies, though, Halloween can be scary in a way that has nothing to do with ghosts, goblins or monsters. That’s because every piece of candy that lands in their child’s pillow case has the potential to trigger a severe allergic reaction. Any treat that was made with peanuts, tree nuts, soy, wheat, milk or eggs has the potential to cause a reaction.

This doesn’t mean that kids with allergies can’t have fun on Halloween night. It just means that parents have to be careful and pay close attention to the treats their kids receive.

Here are a few tips you can follow to protect your child:

  1. Talk to your child before they start trick-or-treating.This is an important conversation. Most kids like to sneak a piece of candy or two between houses. For kids with allergies, though, this can be very dangerous, even life-threatening. Make sure they understand beforehand that you have to go through the candy before they eat anything. If you’re walking with them, you might feel comfortable checking out a piece of candy while you’re walking and giving it to your child, but only if you’re absolutely certain it’s safe.
  2. Make sure your child only eats labeled, pre-packaged candy. This is a good idea in general, but for kids with allergies, homemade cookies or cupcakes are too big of a risk to let your child eat.
  3. As a parent, you’re probably aware of what your child is allergic to. That’s why it’s important to learn how to read food labels. If he or she brings home a piece of candy you’re not thoroughly familiar with, check the list of ingredients on the label to make sure it’s safe.
  4. Have some safe snacks handy. If you’re walking with your child, bring a bag of safe snacks that you know your child likes. That way, if he or she is getting a lot of unsafe candy, you’ll have a back-up plan. Also, have some safe snacks ready at home for when you get back.
  5. Coordinate with your neighbors. If you have several friends in the neighborhood, give a few of your neighbors safe snacks to hold in reserve until your child gets there.
  6. Look for the teal pumpkins. If you see a teal-colored pumpkin in front of a house, it means that the people handing out treats are aware of food allergies and they can provide a non-food alternative, like a toy, crayons, bouncy balls or glow sticks.

Halloween is a great opportunity for children to have fun with their friends and brag about their costumes, all while collecting a bounty of candy and treats. For kids with allergies, it can still be fun. It just takes a little extra precaution from parents. Happy Halloween!

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