Most people don’t consider the dangers of food allergies, but for millions of children with food allergies, ‘Trick or Treating’ can be scary! That’s why more parents are buying nut-free Halloween treats.
Replace the Fear With Fun
With 3 million children with food allergies in the United States alone, parents and their communities should consider safer foods and/or alternatives.
Most people don’t know candy products frequently include ingredients like peanuts, tree nuts, milk and egg. These ingredients are some of the most common food allergens in children.
Nuts Can Cause Severe Life-Threatening Reactions
“Peanuts and tree nuts are common causes of severe, life-threatening reactions, and children and their parents need to be aware of this and check the ingredients for all treats,” said Jacqueline A. Pongracic, MD, vice chair of the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology (AAAAI) Adverse Reactions to Foods Committee.
That said, this can be especially tricky with Halloween candies, which often do not have ingredients listed on their labels. One of the solutions parents may want to consider is don’t buy edible treats without ingredient labels.
Avoid Halloween Horrors With Food Allergy Safety Tips
According to the AAAAI, thousands of children are hospitalized and up to 200 deaths are reported each year due to anaphylaxis from food allergies.
Therefore, all parents should be vigilant at Halloween. To help people keep children with food allergies safe the AAAAI developed a complete checklist which is available for download at their web site.
And for children with diabetes there is a great web site that is loaded with all kinds of information and Holiday tips Diabetes Canada.
What Can Parents Do To Make Halloween Trick or Treating Safer for Children?
Children love parties. Parents can organize a safe neighborhood street or indoor Halloween costume party loaded with safe snacks and treats and other non-edible safe party favors. Include games, pumpkin carving and other Halloween-themed fun.
Some Halloween Food Safety Tips:
If your children want to do the traditional Trick or Treating visit your neighbors to distribute safe snacks requesting they be handed out to your child.
Remember small candy bars passed out to trick-or-treaters may have different ingredients than their regular-size counterparts. Even if a certain candy is safe for your child, the ‘fun size’ version might not be.
Teach your child to politely refuse offers of home-baked goodies like cookies or cupcakes.
Other Halloween Safety Tips:
Tell your children not to eat any goodies until you check them.
Children should stay in well-lit areas and should only visit homes that have their outside lights turned on. Children should never go inside homes or cars.
Children should walk, not run, from house to house and stay on the sidewalk or at the side of the road facing traffic, cross the road at the corner and look both ways before crossing the road.
For more ideas for safe Halloween go to Health Canada – Have a Safe and Spooky Halloween web site.
Have a Safe, Spooky and Happy Halloween!