Halloween should be a little bit scary and a lot of fun! But for parents of kids with food allergies scary can take on a different meaning when it comes to trick or treating. This year with COVID19 still doing a scary rampage we will all need to take additional considerations into account. But it doesn’t mean we have to stop the fun, just need to put on our thinking caps and follow local public health advice to stay safe while having a good night.
Many of the treats handed out at Halloween may contain common food allergens such as nuts, peanuts, dairy, egg and soya. 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. Studies show that the number of allergic reactions, particularly to nuts increase at Halloween, so take care and follow our top tips to stay safe.
Tops tips from Allergy Lifestyle to make it a safe fun filled Halloween for all include;
- Explain your child’s allergies to friends and family and ensure you have a pre-approved stash of allergy free goodies.
- Hopefully house visits won’t be limited this year with COVID19 but if having a garden hunt
- Agree that nothing will be eaten until all treats are checked, any that contain the allergen can be swopped for something suitable.
- Remember that the ingredients of ‘fun size’ sweets may differ from the regular-size bars.
- Sometimes allergy information may not be displayed when the sweets come from a bigger pack, so if in doubt throw it out and replace with something safe.
- Consider non sweet Halloween themed alternatives that won’t break the bank
- Spooky or sparkly stickers
- Plastic jewellery
- Colouring books.
- Rings in the shapes of spiders & bats
- Whoopee cushions
- Glow in the dark sticks
- Throw a Halloween party, turn your home into a haunted house and invite a few socially distanced friends 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 friends over due to COVID19 restrictions incorporate some tech into the mix
- Instead of trick or treating have a 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, don’t forget to 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, Beeswax, Coconut, Phthalates, Sesame, Shea Butter, Sunflower, Peas, Animal Products, Petroleum.
- Wherever you are 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.
- Consider allergy wristbands or medical jewellery to raise awareness.
- Fae 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 and balloons carefully to make sure they are latex free
- Dust mite allergies: give everything a good wash and clean if have been stored from last year to get rid of dust mites
Allergic children do not want to be treated differently from friends and siblings. As parents we want to keep our kids safe but also let them have fun and enjoy Halloween, with a little planning and preparation 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