Navigating Halloween with Food-allergic Kids

With Halloween on its way, parents may find themselves scrambling to purchase or create the perfect costume. Kids can wear a range of different costumes, from the comical to the ghoulish, though little ones may be too scared to dress up in anything too macabre.

Halloween with Food-Allergic Kids

(Pixabay / Efraimstochter)

The frights of Halloween go beyond the costumes, however. Halloween treats can stir up allergies in kids with food allergies that can range from a mild rash to full-blown, life-threatening anaphylaxis. Halloween candy may contain many allergens, including milk, egg, peanuts, tree nuts, wheat, or soy.

Food allergies can manifest in a number of ways. They can cause eczema, hives, hay fever, wheezing, asthma, an itchy mouth and throat, stomach cramping, vomiting, or gas. In severe cases, food allergies can even cause anaphylaxis. Anaphylaxis is a life-threatening allergic reaction that should be immediately addressed with the use of an epinephrine injection.

Parents should take the following precautions when their food-allergic children go trick-or-treating:

  • Accompany your children to homes so you can see what they are putting in their bucket. Make sure that your kids don’t eat any candy unless you have vetted it first.
  • Plan an alternate activity. If you’re nervous about your child trick-or-treating, there are plenty of other ways to enjoy the holiday. Plan a party with themed decorations, games, or a movie. Give out small toys or allergen-free treats.
  • Make sure to keep appropriate precautions handy such as an EpiPen, antihistamines, and hand wipes or sanitizers. Bring your mobile phone just in case you need to make an emergency call in the course of your Halloween activities.

If your child’s allergies are significantly hurting their quality of life, see a physician who specializes in Scottsdale kids allergies. The doctor may prescribe allergy shots or allergy drops. Drops work much like shots, desensitizing the body to allergens in the environment. The drops are safer than shots, however, and often a better fit for young kids. To find out more about allergy drops in Scottsdale, consult an allergist with experience in sublingual immunotherapy.