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October 28, 2011

Don't Let Food Allergies Make Your Halloween Scary

As a mother of a child with milk and wheat allergies, I'm glad to see a story about how to get through Halloween. We face the same dilemma on other holidays such as Thanksgiving, Christmas, Valentines and Easter, especially with the schools where parents bring in home baked treats and goodie bags. It isn't easy!

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Don't Let Food Allergies Make Your Halloween Scary


Here are some tips and strategies that may help to reduce the risks during Halloween if you have children and adolescents with food allergies or asthma:

• Discard foods, candies, sweets that have been prepared in neighbor’s or friends homes.

• If food or candy is not wrapped with labels, take a pass. And when in doubt, throw it out!

• Before the Halloween holiday, consider pre-giving “safe” snacks to your friends and neighbors ahead of time for your child. This will help you and your child feel more comfortable and at ease.

• Instead of giving out only food and candies, consider having alternatives: themes, games, pumpkin carving and costumes.

• Did you know that smaller sized candy for Halloween may contain different ingredients than their regular sized counter parts?

• Teach your child to politely say no to home baked cakes and cookies, especially when the ingredients cannot be 100 percent confirmed.

• Have an early pre-Halloween dinner for your child with a food allergy. This may help to reduce temptation to try unknown or un-labeled foods.

• Keep safe snacks on hand and with you.

• Bring emergency medications such as asthma inhalers if prescribed, during trick or treating events. Remember, asthma can be a risk for more severe reactions to food allergens. Have an asthma action plan in place for optimal control now, and throughout the year.


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