Food Allergies and Halloween: Staying Safe
Posted by Shifrah on Friday, October 29, 2010
Parents must closely monitor food allergic children during Halloween.As with many social activities, Halloween brings extra considerations for parents with allergic children. School parties, play-group costume get-togethers, and of course trick-or-treating are all potential dangers for food allergic children. Following is a combined list of tips for staying safe during Halloween, courtesy of Dr. Clifford Bassett's blog on Fox and the Children's Hospital Boston pediatric health blog:

• Go shopping with your food allergic children to buy some snacks and treats that are safe for them to eat. This way, they will have something special to munch on at parties that won't cause a reaction.

• Try to attend Halloween parties at your child's school or with other friends. This way you can monitor his or her candy consumption to make sure no allergenic foods are eaten. Dress up to make your attendance seem less supervisional and more fun.

• Make certain that your child has emergency medication on hand, including an epi-pen and/or rescue inhaler if asthma is a concern.

• At your own home, pass out non-food items, such as stickers.

• Before trick-or-treating, teach your food allergic child which candies are safe and which are not. Do this by specially pointing out that, for instance, Snickers have peanuts in them.

• Suggest that your child trade candy with friends or siblings. This way he or she can swap allergy-triggering foods with safe options and everyone is happy. This is also a good way to spread awareness about food allergies in a fun environment.

Pre-distribute goodie bags or safe treats at the homes where your child will be trick-or-treating. Your child will be safe and will also feel included.

• Keep your child busy with other Halloween excitement that doesn't involve eating, including watching scary movies, carving a pumpkin, or helping pass out candy instead of going out to trick-or-treat.

Do you have any unique and fun ways to keep your allergic children safe during Halloween?

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