How to Protect Food-Allergic Kids During Halloween

Halloween is fast approaching, and for parents of kids with food allergies, it really can be downright scary. Nuts and dairy can go undetected in candy and pose risks for reactions that can range from mild to severe (including life-threatening anaphylaxis).

If your child has a food allergy, it doesn’t mean they have to miss out on the fun. Here are some tips for helping your child stay safe during this food-heavy holiday.

  • Escort your kids to Halloween parties or while trick-or-treating. Being present is the easiest and most effective way to protect your child.
  • Talk to your child’s teacher or activity leader in advance so they know about your child’s reactions to various foods.
  • If problematic foods are being served at parties, send in a safe substitute for your child.
  • Make the post-trick-or-treating candy inspection a teaching experience. Go through the treats with your child present, helping them understand which candies could cause allergic reactions.

How to treat food allergies

Once a food allergy starts to develop, medications such as antihistamines can help with some symptoms (rash, hay fever, etc.) That can be a temporary fix, but for a more permanent solution, consider sublingual immunotherapy. It works similar to allergy shots but uses under-the-tongue drops to help people develop an immunity to food allergens and eat more of the foods they love.