With Halloween rapidly approaching, parents are purchasing candy and putting the final touches on their kids' costumes. But for some parents, this time of year is stressful for a different reason. For families of children with serious food allergies, there are safety precautions that must be taken to ensure a healthy, safe Halloween.
"With trick-or-treating, the food allergy children should clearly understand that they should not eat any of their candy or treats until they go back home and their parents have a chance to review their candy," says Charlene Broome, allergist at the Asthma & Allergy Clinic of Hattiesburg. "It's important that parents read the labels for the ingredient lists on every piece of candy."
According to allergists, eggs, milk, and peanuts are the most common allergies seen in children of trick-or-treating age. Unfortunately, these ingredients are also prevalent in candy bars and other sweet treats.
"It's also a good idea to have candy at home that is safe for your child to eat so that when they come home and have to surrender some of the treats from the neighborhood, they'll have a safe alternative," recommends Charlene Broome.
It's important to have emergency medicine, such as epinephrine auto-injectors (EpiPen) and liquid antihistamines on hand at all times, even while trick-or-treating.