trick+or

Halloween Can Be Extra Scary for Kids with Food Allergies

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This is my first blog! I am excited to share some of my thoughts and opinions on allergies with you and hope the topics will be of interest.

So, it’s the time of year our children start planning their Halloween costumes and begin looking forward to trick-or-treating. I have a 3-year-old girl who is already so excited to wear her pink fairy costume and gather up some treats! Unfortunately, I know that for some of my patients (and their families) with food allergies it can be a scary time for more reasons than one.

If your child has a food allergy, there are some things that you can do to make sure they have a safe Halloween. I would suggest your children collect their treats (as long as they are packaged, not homemade cookies, etc.) and then turn them in at the end of the night for you to review. You could have them trade the candies they can’t eat for some “safe” ones or give them a quarter for each candy they can’t eat and allow them to buy something of their choice. Watch little ones carefully, as you never know when they might decide to bite the candy, even with the wrapper still on! It may be best to carry their trick-or-treat bags if they are too young to understand the risk.

If you are like us and only visit a few homes in your neighborhood, you could always stock them with a few safe candies or small toys/stickers/crayons to be given to food-allergic children. Sometimes just making people aware of the risk of food allergies will have a ripple effect and may help another family with a food-allergic child.

Beware of “fun size” candies. They usually don’t have allergy warnings on them and may have slightly different ingredients than the regular sized versions.

Of course you need to be prepared for an accidental exposure, so have your epinephrine auto-injector available — and easy to access.

For more tips on how to have a fun and safe Halloween with your child with a food allergy, check out http://www.kidswithfoodallergies.org/resourcespre.php?id=56.

Enjoy and be safe!

Dr. Megan

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