Food allergies don't have to ruin Halloween

Filed under: Preschoolers, Big Kids, Tweens, Holidays, Health & Safety: Babies, Nutrition: Health, Medical Conditions

jack o' lanternWould you hand your preschooler a bag full of live ammunition?

Now you know how parents of kids with food allergies feel about Halloween. The treats so many children look forward to with glee can be deadly for those who suffer from reactions to peanuts, tree nuts and dairy. But who wants to tell their child that trick or treating is forbidden?

Never fear -- with a few common-sense precautions, kids with food allergies can enjoy the holiday without risking their health.

First and foremost, remember that your normal food-allergy rules still apply: read the label of every piece of candy your child collects before they eat it, make sure he or she carries their medication with them while trick-or-treating, and check that he adult in charge knows how to administer the medication if the need arises. Also, give your child a small packet of hand wipes, so they can clean their hands if they accidentally come in contact with an allergen.

These simple rules don't mean your child can't have fun. Rather than trying to read the fine print on candy labels with your flashlight, bring a small bag of "safe" candy from home, so your little trickster can snack along the way. You can also invent new Halloween traditions, such as a "Halloween fairy" who brings safe treats or non-food presents.

Afraid your little one will get into the stash you plan to hand out? Don't give out candy -- try stickers or pencils. Or skip the door-to-door candy collecting altogether, and attend a local event that doesn't focus on food. Local zoos or farms often host Halloween parties loaded with activities.

And remember, your child can always say "no, thank you."

Last but not least -- don't panic. Taking care to follow your normal food-safety rules will help everyone enjoy a fun holiday.

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AdviceMama Says:
Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.