How does your school or class handle Halloween with the PB allergic child? How do you handle Halloween Night?
On Oct 19, 1999
Dear LQ: On trick or treat night (or day), I always take my youngest child and monitor what is given to him. In the past, we have not refused treats containing peanuts. I do intercept them and put them in a separate container/bag. Of course, once we are home, I check out the ingredients on all treats. We do not allow our son to have any chocolate candy because he also has a milk allergy. He does seem to be growing out of this allergy as his older brother did. I do think that eventually he will also grow out of it, too. The treats with peanut products in them are disposed of or given to someone else. We only pass out treats that my kids can actually eat (fruit snacks, roll ups, a specific brand of rice krispie treats, skittles). As far as my son's kindergarten class, a letter was sent home re:treats for the class. In bold large letters the letter reminded all parents that the kindergarten area was a PEANUT FREE ZONE and reminded all parents to keep this in mind when sending treats. I will provide all treats for my son's class. They consist of some different things like rubber spiders, a halloween notebook and pencil, some safe candy like hi-c fruit snacks, skittles, rice krispie treats. Since it seems like my son misses out on some things because of his allergy, I tend to overcompensate in other areas of rewarding him and his class. This also helps to keep the other parents happy who may give the school a problem because they think "their" kid is deprived the wonderful experience of peanut butter at school. So far, these things have worked for us.
On Oct 19, 1999
At the beginning of each year I send a letter to all parents. It is serious yet positive(he is bright, shy, and has a life threatening allergy...) I go over the peanut free table issue, and talk about it like a bee-sting allergy so they understand that a trace of the allergen can kill. My PS says "on the up side, if he comes to your house to play, he will bring desert for everyone."
People tend to remember this. But we screen the candy, and I will be driving him home this year to avoid the bus/smell potential. On Halloween, when he was little, he used to tell everyone at every house that he was "magic" to peanut butter. So they would give him more!!! But we "buy" his unsafe candy from him and take him to Toys R Us. His brother, not allergic, got wise to this and sells his unsafe candy too. We give it all away at our door. Halloween is still a blast, and the kids think they are lucky to have permanent toys instead of disposable candy.
On Oct 24, 1999
We also "buy" our kids' Halloween candy, though they don't know it...the Halloween Witch visits while they are asleep, taking ALL candy, except for the few (3 to 5) pieces they picked out to keep. The Halloween Witch then leaves a toy in exchange for the candy. The kids love it!!
On Oct 25, 1999
I love your idea of a "Halloween witch".
I am preparing snacks for both daughters to take to school for their classes and have run into a chocolate allergy. Does anyone know if this would include coca butter?
Thanks and Happy Haunting!
On Oct 30, 1999
My oldest daughter (9) is the one that we know is allergic to peanuts and nuts, our other 3 have never had nuts. When we go out on Halloween they say "Trick or Treat. No Nuts Please." I am right there with them to explain to the neighbours why No Nuts Please. Some things do slip through but we always check the bags before they are allowed to touch anything. If someone has little bags made up that have shell peanuts in them, we say "No thank you, but have a nice Halloween" The week before Halloween I go out and get some trading items, such as stickers, pencils, erasers, Halloween books and safe candy. After everything has been sorted they get their safe bag of treats. My daughter has other non-life threatening allergies to milk, eggs, citric acid and strawberries
[This message has been edited by KarenT (edited October 30, 1999).]
On Oct 31, 1999
On friday my daughters class had a party for Halloween. I sent in cup cakes and other parents sent fruit and veggies. It was a safe fun party for all. One thing that did happen - My daughter fell going into the school and hurt her knee. The teacher saw her a went to see if she was OK. The teacher was dressed up like a doctor. She jokingly carried my daughter into the Portable(my daughters class) and said "**** is hurt!" The teacher did not realize this would have the reaction it did. Some of the children were in tears because they thought **** was having a reaction to nuts! This shows me how much most of the kids care for my Daughters safety.