Halloween is cause for celebration and fun but can be an awful time of year for patients with food allergies and even worse if you are their parents.  The stories and the thought of your child eating one of their allergens and having a life-threatening allergic attack is enough to stop your heart.  Yet we are about to start the major holidays and food is at the center of all of them.  Keep these tips in mind as we navigate the rest of this year…

Here are some quick tips for making the season safer:

  1. Eat before you trick-or-treat. This will keep the kids from munching on candy.
  2. Set ground rules before the kids set out.
    1. Do not eat anything before you inspect it.
    2. Have a responsible adult that is aware of your child’s allergies oversee the festivities.
    3. Review use of your emergency epinephrine injector with your child and with the responsible adult.
    4. Make sure your child carries the epinephrine injector! It is no good sitting at home.
    5. Have a phone handy to call for help if necessary.
    6. Practice with your child, asking if the trigger allergen is in the available candy.
  3. Have your own party, in which you control the food.
  4. Notify the school before the school Halloween party starts.
  5. Once home, carefully inspect all candy and donate or give away anything that contains your child’s allergies and make clear what your child can eat.
  6. Look for Teal pumpkins…a sign that the host house is giving out allergy-friendly treats like stencils, stickers, toys, money or other non-food items.