7 Ways to Prepare for Halloween with Allergies and Asthma
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1. Stick to the Plan
Develop a food safety plan with your family and refrain from eating any candy until it has been checked and sorted by a trusted adult. If you have other kids who do not have food allergies, encourage siblings to swap candy for fun allergen-free treats!
2. Select Costume
Be careful of full face masks, as they can inhibit breathing. Avoid masks made of latex, if allergic. Be careful when using face or body paint; many have ingredients that are irritating to skin and lungs. Consider purchasing hypoallergenic or sensitive products.
3. Play Label Reading Games
When sorting through the candy, have your children read the labels and identify which candy contains allergens (peanuts, milk, egg, etc.). If they are able to read the label and correctly identify candy with allergens (peanuts, milk, etc.), reward them with coins or other non-food surprises.
4. Prepare for the Unexpected and Carry Medication
Be prepared for unexpected weather changes and other asthma triggers. If you have asthma, carry your inhalers with you. If you have life-threatening allergies, carry two epinephrine auto-injectors with you at all times.
Accidents can happen. Be prepared to use your medication right away and call 911.
5. Consider Providing Non-Food Treats
Purchase fun non-food treats like glow sticks, bouncy balls, spider rings, Halloween stickers, fake vampire teeth, etc. as an alternative to candy.
6. Host a Party
Consider other alternatives to trick-or-treating: Host a costume party, scavenger hunt, or a scary movie gathering for your family or friends. You can also prepare fun ghoulish treats with allergen-free food and candy!!
7. Celebrate with Teal
Place a teal pumpkin at your door and let the neighborhood know that you have non-food treats to share. FARE and Kids with Food Allergies have great ideas for how to celebrate Halloween with teal. To learn more, visit:
Did You Know?
- 8% of children in the U.S. have a food allergy (1 in 13)
- Most common food allergens are: peanut, milk, shellfish, tree nuts, egg, wheat, soy, fin fish, and sesame.
- 8.4% of children in the U.S. have asthma
- Asthma costs the United States $56 BILLION dollars. (CDC)
- Causes 10.5 MILLION days of missed school and 14.2 MILLION days of missed work. (CDC)