Trick or Treat? Avoiding Food Allergy Dangers in Halloween Candy
What kid doesn't love dressing up in a costume and going door to door on Halloween night, collecting a bag full of candy? Unfortunately, this beloved childhood activity can pose a serious danger for those who are allergic to any of the ingredients in popular Halloween treats. Though candy is a big part of Halloween, it can be challenging for those with food allergies.
Your child's food allergy shouldn't mean that they can't partake in the fun. Those with food allergies must exercise caution – peanuts and tree nuts are found in many varieties of candy. Though the FDA requires food manufacturers to include allergen lists on food packaging, these warnings may not be found on the 'fun-size' candy bars passed out on Halloween, or noticed by a child eager to dig into their trick or treat bag.
Midwest ENT Consultants recently offered the Chicago Tribune some tips for enjoying Halloween without risking an allergic reaction:
- Even if your own child does not have allergies, avoid giving out candies containing peanuts or traces of peanuts, or that may have been processed with peanut products. Peanut allergies are on the rise in children, and you can help keep the kids in your neighborhood safe by giving out peanut-free treats this October. Give out candies that don't contain peanuts, or trinkets such as small toys or stickers.
- Know the safe options. Those with peanuts can often eat treats such as Tootsie Rolls, jelly beans, and many hard candies. Candy bars tend to be riskier, although there too, there are peanut-free options.
- Check the ingredients. Your child should not eat any candy while trick-or-treating. Instead, an adult should inspect the candy first.