Halloween can be tricky for kids with food allergies
October 20, 2018
2 mins to read
A teal pumpkin on display means that home has non-food treats for trick-or-treaters with food allergies. The Teal Pumpkin Project was started by FARE — Food Allergy Research and Education. Photo by: Courtesy photo
Holidays like Halloween that focus on food and treats can be stressful for parents and kids who manage food allergies, says the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America. Preparing ahead can reduce that stress and minimize the chances of having a food allergy reaction. Here are some tips to make Halloween safer and less stressful.
Communicate with caregivers: If your child will be attending Halloween parties or trick-or-treating with friends without you, make sure there is an adult who knows how to prevent, recognize and treat anaphylaxis. Communicate the importance of reading labels and avoiding cross contact. Review your child’s Anaphylaxis Action Plan with the adult who will be responsible. If your child is older, they can help communicate to their friends and families.
Teach your children well: Teach your child the importance of not eating any treat if there is any doubt about whether it might contain your child’s allergens. Teach your child to look for their allergens on labels and to have a trusted adult carefully read all labels before eating any treats. Ingredients and processing can change at any time. Many times, seasonal candies are processed differently than the year-round versions. Many “treat-sized” candies are not labeled with ingredients or advisory warnings on the individual packaging.
Have safe treats: Whether it’s a class party, trick-or-treat pre-party or post trick-or-treat snacking, make sure your child will have something safe to eat. You may not be able to read labels and verify that treats brought by others or collected during trick-or-treat will be safe. Have a few fun treats on hand that you know are safe for your child.
You can also offer non-food treats so children with food allergies can have a fun trick-or-treat experience, too. Examples include bookmarks, bracelets, glow sticks, note pads, pencils, pencil toppers, rubber balls, stickers and yo-yos.
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