Many treats handed out at Halloween can contain common food allergens such as nuts, peanuts, dairy, egg and soya. For parents of kids with Food allergies or Anaphylaxis, scary can take on a different meaning when it comes to trick or treating. But it doesn’t mean we have to stop the fun, we just need to put on our thinking caps and take a few precautions to stay safe while having a good night as Halloween should be a little bit scary and a lot of fun!
Studies show that the number of allergic reactions, particularly to nuts increases at Halloween. Allergic reactions can vary from mild rash and itching, to stomach cramps and vomiting, to Anaphylaxis which is a severe potentially life-threatening allergic reaction. So to keep everyone safe plan in advance and follow our top tips to have a fun-filled inclusive night for all.
To download our free eBook packed full of tips and tricks to keep the little ones safe go to Halloween Tips for Allergies & Anaphylaxis
Tops tips for Halloween fun with Food Allergies include;
- Explain your child’s allergies to friends and family and ensure you have a pre-approved stash of allergy free treats.
- For Allergy safe house visits or garden hunts
- Agree that nothing will be eaten until all treats are checked, any treats that contain your child’s food allergen can be swopped for something suitable. This is a good opportunity to teach your child about reading ingredient and allergen labels and making safe choices.
- Ingredients of ‘fun size’ sweets may differ from the regular-size bars so check the wrapper every time.
- Ingredients can change too so this is a good opportunity to ingrain in your child to check the wrapper every time.
- Sometimes allergy information may not be displayed when the sweets come from a bigger pack, so if in doubt throw it out and replace it with a safe treat.
- Teach your child to politely refuse home made treats where you can’t be sure of allergen content
- Consider non sweet Halloween themed alternatives that won’t break the bank
- Spooky or sparkly stickers
- Plastic jewellery or fangs
- Halloween themed colouring pages.
- Rings in the shapes of spiders & bats
- Whoopee cushions (Check to make sure Latex Free)
- Glow in the dark sticks
- Throw a Halloween party, turn your home into a haunted house and invite friends and family to come to you
- Buy a Halloween CD for ghoulish music
- Create your own play list such as ‘Monster Mash’ ‘I put a Spell on You’, ‘Ding Song the Witch is Dead’ ‘Thriller’ and ‘Ghost Busters’.
- Hide allergy-safe treats around the house and garden and have a scavenger hunt.
- If you can’t have family or friends over incorporate some tech into the mix, its a great way to include grandparents, cousins and friends in the fun
- Have a virtual party on Zoom, Skype, WhatsApp or Facetime
- Try virtual pumpkin carving for small kids
- Check out Kyle Dines Halloween Food Allergy Tune
- Instead of trick or treating have a sleepover or stay up late party where the kids can stay up late and watch Halloween movies and tell ghost stories. Not so scary Halloween movies for small kids include
- ‘Pooh’s Heffalump Halloween Movie’,
- ‘The Nightmare Before Christmas’,
- ‘Monsters INC’,
- Corpse Bride,
- ‘The Addams Family’,
- ‘Hocus Pocus’
- Hotel Transylvania
- Focus your child’s attention on the costumes and party games and less on treats. If you are going to include face painting in your costume check ingredients for allergens. Allergy Lifestyle has a limited number of Allergy friendly Halloween face paint packs free from Peanuts, Dairy, Eggs, Shellfish, Fish, Soy, Wheat, Corn, Parabens, Tree Nuts, Latex, Beeswax, Coconut, Phthalates, Sesame, Shea Butter, Sunflower, Peas, Animal Products, Petroleum.
- Wherever you go make sure you have your
- Adrenaline auto injectors x 2
- Anti histamines
- Hand wipes to clean little hands
- Fully charged mobile phone in case of emergency.
- A torch to check allergen labels in the dark
- Consider allergy wristbands or medical jewellery to raise awareness.
- Face coverings and hand sanitisers
- Check with your school or childcare in advance to see if they are planning any Halloween activities and check they are safe for your child.
- Latex Allergy: check mask, costumes, whoopee coushions and balloons carefully to make sure they are latex free
- Dust mite allergies: give Halloween costumes, decorations and toys a good wash and clean if have been stored from last year to get rid of dust mites
- For older kids or teens who may be trick or treating with friends, smartphone tracking apps or switching on WhatsApp live location is a good idea. Ensure friends have your number saved in their phones and if age appropriate are familiar with administering an epinephrine auto-injector. Staying close by while letting them call to doors themselves is also an option
As parents, we want to keep our kids safe but also let them have fun, be included and enjoy Halloween, with a little planning there is no reason your child needs to miss out on Halloween fun. Preparation is the name of the game for a fun filled night for all.
Useful Products to have:
- Adrenaline pen holder or Medicine Carry Bag: Consider an Adrenaline pen holder or Medicine Carry Bag so you can have your antihistamine, adrenaline and fully charged mobile on you in case of emergency.
- Allergy Alert Wristband or Medical Alert Jewellery: Consider an Allergy Wristband or Medical Jewellery with allergy information and emergency contact numbers.
- Allergy friendly Halloween face paint
- Face coverings
Disclaimer: The information provided is for informational purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Allergy Lifestyle Limited (t/a) Allergy Lifestyle) uses reasonable endeavours to check the accuracy of information provided however no warranty is given that they are error-free. Always seek the advice of an allergy specialist and follow your anaphylaxis emergency care
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