For those with food allergies, trick-or-treating can be downright dangerous.
recently offered a list of tips for enjoying Halloween without risking an allergic reaction:
- Avoid sweets that have been prepared by neighbors or friends; you simply can't verify the ingredient list or ensure that their kitchen doesn't contain food allergen residue. If the candy or food is not wrapped with a label indicating its ingredients, take a pass. Teach your child how to politely say no to such treats.
- Stay away from chocolate candies, nearly all of which may contain peanuts or nuts. The risk of cross-contamination is serious. Unless you know that the particular candy variety is manufactured on allergen-free production lines, avoid it. Also, be aware that 'fun-sized' candy bars may contain different ingredients or be processed on different equipment than their regular-sized counterparts.
- Consider giving 'safe' snacks to friends and neighbors ahead of trick-or-treating time. That way, they can give out peanut-free treats when your child knocks on their door.
- Give out allergen-free treats at your own door. There are plenty of 'safe' candy varieties, as well as non-food alternatives like stickers and glow bracelets.
- Avoid face paint containing harsh chemicals. This can cause skin irritation and rashes, especially in those with sensitive skin. Cheap face paint may also use peanut oil, which can cause a dangerous allergic reaction in those with peanut allergies. Always apply the paint to your child's wrist first, to check for unexpected allergic reactions.
- Make sure your costume has room for an Epi-Pen epinephrine injector, if you have a severe food allergy.