Trick-or-Treating with Food Allergies
Halloween is quickly approaching, and children are looking forward to costumes and trick-or-treating. However, for families who have a child suffering from food allergies, it can be a stressful time. Some of the top eight allergens are hiding in many Halloween candies. Here are some tips to get through Halloween without a real scare.
Remind teachers and neighbors about your child's allergies. If possible, go to the houses in your neighborhood in advance and drop off some candy that your child can eat, so the neighbor knows to give your child that particular candy when he or she comes by that night. Most friends and neighbors will likely be eager to make a safe environment for your child, but they might not have the same knowledge about food allergies that you do.
Decide How to Handle Halloween Night
There are a few options for what you can do on the actual night of Halloween. Perhaps you want your child to dress up, but stay home and hand out safe candy to other children. Or, you can throw a costume party with your child's friends and tell ghost stories and play games.
Alternatively, you can use this night to teach your child about the Teal Pumpkin Project and get him or her involved in the movement. Because food allergies are becoming so common, the Teal Pumpkin Project has been put into place to let trick-or-treaters know if a house is offering treats that do not include the top eight allergens. People simply put a pumpkin on their doorstep that is painted teal to help spread the word.
If your child does go trick-or-treating, remind him or her to not touch the candy that is offered, but let the homeowner drop it in their basket. Once the child is finished trick-or-treating, sort through the candy to make sure that everything that is a possible allergen is removed, and therefore all of the candy leftover is safe for the child to eat.
There are many allergens to look out for during the Halloween season, from food allergies to latex allergies in costumes. However, there are plenty of ways to keep Halloween a safe and fun event for every child.
Halloween can still be an event for the whole family to look forward to if they are managing an allergy within the home.