Take the tricks out of the treats!
BOO! Halloween is right around the corner, and it can either be fun or scary; sometimes even both if your child has food allergies. Ghosts and goblins are supposed to be the scary part of Halloween, not the candy! Here are a few tips to keep your gremlins, witches or little pumpkins safe from an accidental exposure to food allergens during school parties and trick-or-treating.
Dealing with Halloween parties at school:
- Well before the party; make sure the teacher is aware of your child’s food allergies and usual symptoms. Also, be sure the teacher and your child (if mature) are aware how to use self-injectable epinephrine (Epi-Pen or Auvi-Q) in case of an exposure. Have the written anaphylaxis emergency plan in an easy-to-find location.
- Provide snacks for the party. It may be a small price to pay knowing everything is safe. If doing so, be thoughtful of other classmates allergen needs as well.
- Attend the classroom party to observe and resolve safety concerns. If you do not stay for the entire party, stay long enough to check all of the food.
- Remember your child’s emotional needs and be cautious not to draw unnecessary attention to their food allergies.
The school party is only half of the Halloween hurdle. We also need to keep our allergic children safe while trick-or-treating.
- Be sure to carry your child’s emergency medication (self- injectable epinephrine) and check expiration dates ahead of time.
- Engage in an alternative activity, such as having a spooky scavenger hunt for safe treats.
- Bake other goodies for that night.
- While trick-or-treating, carry safe snacks with you for those hungry little monsters.
- When returning home, check all ingredients and trade unsafe candy (or the entire bag) for allergen-safe treats. Most individually wrapped candies do not have ingredients listed on them. As always, when in doubt, throw it out!
Family Allergy & Asthma care of Montana wishes you and your little spooksters a happy and safe Halloween!
This information is solely for informational purposes and not intended as a substitute for consultation with a medical professional.