It’s fun to be frightened on Halloween, but the treats your children want to eat shouldn’t be what scares you. If your kids have allergies, though, Halloween may feel like something to fear. From class parties to fall festivals to trick-or-treating, we’ve got some guidelines and suggestions that can help make your Halloween fun and safe.
- Party snacks can be safe and fun. Rice Krispy treats, for instance, are a good option for kids with allergies, because they have no eggs or wheat, though most brands of crispy rice cereal do contain gluten. You can make the treats even safer for allergic kids by using coconut oil instead of butter, making them dairy-free. There are plenty of allergen-free dips and snacks, and fruit and vegetables are a great idea, especially made into something representative of the season, like Mandarin oranges made to look like pumpkins. Consider the dietary needs of the kid who will be attending the party, get creative with your menu, and make sure everything is adequately labeled.
- If your kids are trick or treating, talk to them about safe options. Make a rule that no one eats any candy until you get home from trick-or-treating, and then carefully read the labels before the children eat anything. Even if one type of candy is considered safe, this may vary between brands, so scrutinizing the labels is vital. While taking these precautions, though, it’s still important to make sure you have epinephrine and your cell phone at the ready, in case of an emergency. Keep wipes handy, too, so that you can wipe down children’s hands and faces if they come into contact with an allergen. If your child will be spending the holiday with someone else, make sure the child and the adult in charge each know not just the plan for handling Halloween, but also the signs of an allergic reaction and how to manage one.
- If you’re handing out candy, consider being a friend to those with allergens and displaying a teal pumpkin to let kids know your treats are safe. If you want to be 100 percent sure that your treats are allergy-friendly, opt for non-food items. If you’d rather give candy, though, there are some easy to find candies that are safe for most allergy sufferers. Swedish Fish, Skittles, Spangler Circus Peanuts, Starburst, and Sour Patch Kids are all free of the most common allergens. So are Dots, Mike and Ike, Hot Tamales, Smarties, and Peeps- just make sure the Peeps are not chocolate-covered. Almond Joys are a good treat for kids with egg allergies, though they are not safe for children who are allergic to nuts.
Knowing how to manage Halloween for kids with allergies can be the difference between a happy holiday and one that ends in tragedy. In the same way, understanding your allergies and knowing how to manage them can help you live a healthy, symptom-free life. When you enlist the help of an experienced, board-certified allergist, you can be confident that your doctor will help you find the solutions you need to manage your allergies.
At Allergy & Asthma Specialists SM, all physicians are board-certified in allergy and immunology and are specially trained and have extensive experience in evaluating and diagnosing your reaction to foods. Known in the region as caring for the most high risk food allergic patients, the allergists of A&AS regularly supervise food testing and food challenges. High risk food challenges are sometimes performed in a hospital so the patient can be closely monitored. Call 610-825-5800 or visit the website for an appointment, or to learn more about their available services.