Tips for a Peanut-Free Halloween
Halloween is a particularly difficult holiday for children with peanut allergies–and their parents. The promise of hordes of candy and a chance to dress like a superhero has a visceral appeal and no one wants to tell a kid that Halloween is off limits.
Kim Hartman, the mother of a 7-year-old with severe food allergies and the designer of Take In Case™ EpiPen carriers, offers some tips on how to keep Halloween fun AND allergy-free.
- Use a sticker system
- Exchange each piece of forbidden candy for a sticker and make the stickers add up to a toy or other gift.
- Trade unsafe candy for safe candy
- Exchange unsafe candy for treats that are safe to eat. Take some of this safe candy with you while going door-to-door so that everyone can share the joy of eating candy right away.
- Take your auto-injectors with you
- Take your auto-injector trick-or-treating. A product like Take-in-Case™ makes it easy to carry an auto-injector under any costume or other clothing.
- Communicate and plan
- Remind others that your child is allergic to certain things and if you are joining friends or family for a holiday party, plan ahead to make sure that you are going to a safe environment.
- Read the labels
- Almost all foods come with an allergen label. Keep an eye out for the "may contain" statement. Foods that are made or packaged in plants that contain allergens are likely to be cross-contaminated.
- Engage your child's peers
- If you talk with your children's friends about potential dangers, they will help to keep an eye on their friend because they want to be protective.
- Role play
- Go through scenarios with your children and talk to your kid even if s/he is very young.
- Host your own party
- Instead of going door-to-door, host your own Halloween party. This way you are in control of what's being served.