Halloween can be downright frightful for kids with food allergies and their parents. The food-centric holiday features class parties, goodie bags, and a bounty of candy from trick or treating. Treats can be filled with dairy, nuts, and other allergy-causing ingredients.
If you have a child with food allergies, follow these tips to take the “scary” out of the holiday.
- Communicate. If your child is going to a Halloween party, either during or outside of school, communicate with the event’s organizers. Explain the nature and scope of your child’s allergies. If appropriate, send allergy-free alternatives for your child to enjoy.
- Throw your own party. If you’re nervous about sending your child trick or treating, hold an alternative event. Invite friends to take part in a costume party with plenty of games. Food isn’t the only way to have fun on Halloween.
- Take part in the Teal Pumpkin Project. This initiative encourages people to post a picture of a teal pumpkin to announce that they will be handing out non-food treats for the holiday, including glow sticks, stickers, or small toys. It’s a great way to include kids with food allergies in Halloween fun. Click here to learn more about the project.
- Be prepared. Even when you make every effort to keep your child safe, accidents can happen. They may be exposed to food allergens that trigger reactions ranging from uncomfortable to life-threatening. Make sure that your child has an epinephrine auto-injector with them at all times and that they or a present adult know how to use it.
If your child suffers with ongoing allergies, consider pollen or food allergy treatment through sublingual immunotherapy (SLIT). With SLIT, daily drops of antigen are dispensed under the tongue and absorbed into the bloodstream. Like allergy shots, the drops can help the body develop immunity to allergens in the environment that trigger allergic reactions. Allergy drops are safer than shots, however, so they can be taken by children too young to qualify for allergy shots. Allergy drops are also safe enough to be dosed at home, saving families from having to travel to the doctor’s office a couple times a week for shots.
Visit AllergyEasy.com to learn more about allergy drops for kids’ food allergy treatment.