The holidays can feel like a minefield when you have children with food allergies. Instead of opting out of the holidays entirely, here are a few things you can do to keep your kids safe!
Review Your Allergy Action Plan
Ensure that you have a plan in place in case your children do accidently ingest or come in contact with any allergens.
Review signs and symptoms of anaphylactic reactions as well as how to properly use your epinephrine auto-injector. Review this information with your children and/or any other care providers who may be with them while trick-or-treating.
Always remember to keep two epinephrine auto-injectors together. In the event of a severe reaction, your child may require a second dose of epinephrine.
Check the expiration date on your epinephrine auto-injectors and contact your pharmacy to request a refill.
Read All Labels Carefully
If you have a child with food allergies, you are likely already in the habit of reading food labels. The holidays are a time to be even more vigilant. Stay aware of hidden ingredients as well as potential cross-contamination from manufacturing facilities.
Consider using the internet to better understand the ingredients your children’s treats may contains. The following blog link has listed out the ingredients and potential allergens in common Halloween candy: https://jillcastle.com/childhood-nutrition/halloween-treats-ingredients-allergens/
Trick or Treat Safe Zones
There is growing awareness about food allergies, and as such, there are more homes that are providing treats safe for children with food allergies. Many of these houses will identify themselves with a teal pumpkin out front, letting you know that they have allergy-safe treats to disperse. Some houses may use a “Teal Zone” poster instead of the pumpkin. Visit the Food Allergy Research & Education website for some great resources this Halloween season.
Talk to Your Kids
Make a game plan with your children, even those without allergies, to ensure their safety while trick-or-treating. You may want your children to hold off from diving into their candy until you’ve had a chance to thoroughly inspect everything to ensure it is safe to consume and does not contain any potentially dangerous allergens. To help them resist the urge, have them unload their goodies into a separate bag, guarded by you, every few houses.
With some simple planning, you and your kids can enjoy a fun and safe Halloween season!
If you’re unsure or suspect you or your child may have food allergies or other types of allergies, visit San Tan Allergy and Asthma in the Phoenix Valley Area. We offer testing to a wide variety of food and environmental allergens. We also offer testing and treatment for eczema, hives, angioedema, and allergic dermatitis. Call us today to make an appointment!
San Tan Allergy & Asthma
4915 E. Baseline Road
Gilbert, AZ 85234-2966
Office: (480) 626-6600