Halloween Hazards

Today in our regular perusal of allergy-related news, we came across Five Surprising Health Hazards on FoxNews.com.

In summary, the hazards highlighted were:

  • Licorice can lead to heart attacks. The FDA recently came out with a warning that too much black licorice could lead to heart trouble in adults, especially older ones. These heart problems include arrhythmias, and are due to the glycyrrhizin in black licorice, which can cause the body's potassium levels to fall.
  • Sugar substitutes can cause diarrhea. Sorbitol can lead to diarrhea and other gastrointestinal issues. Look for it especially in ‘dietetic’ type candies.
  • Eye injuries from thrown eggs. Shells from tossed-around eggs can cause blood in the front of the eye, scratches to the cornea, and retinal swelling. Eye injuries reported around Halloween time confirm that this danger is real, not an imagined paranoia.
  • Lead contamination. Halloween-themed toys, from candy buckets to fake teeth, that are contaminated with lead can cause to children to ingest unsafe amounts of lead.
  • Glow stick ‘poisoning.’ Increased incidents of children ingesting the liquid found in glow sticks occur around Halloween. Though the liquid is minimally toxic, poison control facilities should be contacted if this occurs.

Another truly frightening Halloween risk is to those who have food allergies. We wonder if this danger didn't make this list because it's a ‘known’ risk or because, as we fear, lack of awareness of the dangers of food allergies is still the norm. What do you think?

For more on Halloween and allergies, see:
Halloween Asthma Triggers
Food Allergies and Halloween: Staying Safe
Helping Food Allergic Kids Feel ‘Normal’

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