Take the Horror Out of Halloween
For parents of a child with food allergies, keeping your child safe is often the scariest part of Halloween. While all holidays pose problems for those living with food allergies, holidays centered around food are especially challenging and require special stay-safe strategies. In addition to the common challenges families with food allergies face, COVID-19 presents a whole new set of challenges so please consider taking a look at the CDC Guidelines for Halloween. If you choose to participate in Halloween activities, follow these tips to take the horror out of Halloween and help your child enjoy this fun holiday.
Look for the Teal Pumpkin
Food Allergy Research and Education (FARE) has created the Teal Pumpkin Project to support families living with food allergies. Participating in the Teal Pumpkin Project raises food allergy awareness and makes it easy for families to identify homes that are providing non-food treats. Take a look at the Teal Pumpkin resources available on FARE’s website to find ways you can participate.
Create a Safe Treat Bag
A helpful tip for celebrating Halloween safely is to buy candy and treats which are safe for your child ahead of time. Bring some of those safe treats on trick-or-treat outings so your child can indulge in a few safe pieces of candy during the fun. When you return home, allow your child to trade unsafe candy for the pre-purchased, safe candy and allow them to enjoy. You may also want to provide safe treats for neighbors and friends to give to your child when they come to trick-or-treat.
Think Outside the Box
Offer things other than food or candy as Halloween treats. Fun items like stickers, pencils, glow bracelets, jewelry, novelty toys, and games are just as fun and healthier too. Check out these fun and safe ideas from Food Allergy Research and Education (FARE).
Read the Label
It is important to double check every label to make sure each piece of candy is free of your child’s allergens. Candy made for special holidays may have different ingredients than the standard versions made during the rest of the year, so NEVER MAKE ASSUMPTIONS. Always remember to read the label of every treat and avoid items without an ingredient list.
Talk About Your Plan
Communicate to your child ahead of time about your plan for staying safe on Halloween. If your child(ren) know that they will not be left out of the fun and will still get to indulge in tasty treats, they will be more willing to follow the rules and stay safe.
ALWAYS take antihistamines and injectable epinephrine with you on trick-or-treat outings. Before leaving home, review the plan provided by your doctor on when you should use these medications.
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