For most kids, Halloween is about two things- costumes and candy. For others, trick-or-treating can unfortunately be a scary time, and not because of haunted houses, ghosts, and goblins.
For more than 3 million U.S children living with food allergies, Halloween fun can actually turn disastrous if treats containing food allergens are overlooked and ingested.
To ensure a safe and exciting experience for every child this October, consider the little ones living with food allergies and how you can help keep them out of harm’s way.
Whether you are the parents of a child living with food allergies, or intend on welcoming trick-or-treaters to your home, office, school, church, or daycare; consider implementing some of the following tips to keep those little goblins safe and smiling on Halloween.
Tips to Avoid Food-Allergy Mishaps on Halloween
- Hand out candy with individualized labels so that kids with food allergies know if the treat is safe. Some miniature size candies only contain food allergy information on the bag they are packaged in and not on each individual piece.
- Don’t leave candy lying around that young children can easily get into. When having little ones with food allergies at your Halloween party, be sure to have all treats out of their reach.
- Be aware of hidden food allergens found in treats you wouldn’t expect. Ingredients with soy, gluten, and traces of nuts can be found in unlikely treats like lollipops or gummy candies.
- Be prepared for parties and events. Be sure to remind parents, neighbors, teachers and schools about your child’s allergies well in advance. Try to work with them on selecting treats that are suitable for all kids.
- Keep medicines handy. Take along all medications for unexpected incidentals. There is always a possibility of unknown allergens. Be prepared by having available medicines on hand.
Don’t Forget to Shine Some Light on Your Teal Pumpkins
This Halloween, encourage your family to start a new tradition. Paint a pumpkin teal and place it on your porch as a sign to parents of kids living with food allergies that you have non-food treats available for their little ghosts and goblins.
Offering non-food treats allows all the children in your neighborhood to be included in the trick-or-treating fun. Some great ideas of food allergy-friendly treats include: glow bracelets or necklaces, bubbles, mini Slinkys, whistles, tattoos, playing cards, vampire teeth and spider rings.
By encouraging friends, family members, and neighbors to take the same precautions; we all can work together to ensure kids with food allergies can feel safe while enjoying spooky and fun Halloween festivities.