Halloween and Allergies: How to help keep kids with food allergies safe

Published: Oct. 28, 2021 at 4:25 AM CDT
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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3) -Trick-or-treating can be fun for children of all ages, but it can make the Halloween tradition a little scarier for those with food allergies.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, 8% of children suffer from a food allergy. Common allergies include peanuts and tree nuts, but also include milk, soy, and eggs. These are all common ingredients in Halloween favorites and could cause a child to have a bad reaction.

“The most common symptoms people have when they have an allergy are skin symptoms,” said Allergist Immunologist Dr. Minh-Thu Le. “Itching, flushing, hives on the skin are the most common, but also vomiting, throat swelling, lip swelling, those are a little bit more serious need to be treated right away.”

If your child experiences one of these symptoms, there are things you can do to help.

“The first line of treatment with a food allergy is to give epinephrine,” said Dr. Le “If you have a few hives around the mouth or things like that, you can always use an antihistamine first. Liquid Benadryl or liquid Cetirizine, Claritin like or anything like that would help.”

Parents need to be sure to look at the candy ingredients list to ensure it is allergen-free. While some candy may be safe, it doesn’t hurt to double-check.

“People don’t realize the candies made in the smaller sizes have different ingredients than the bigger ones,” said Dr. Le. “Laffy Taffy is a big one. So Laffy Taffy in the big size doesn’t have soy, but the little size does. So even between the same manufacturer, sometimes different sizes, potentially could have different ingredients.”

If you’re handing out non-candy treats this year, you can place a teal pumpkin on your porch to let kids with allergies know you are handing out allergy-free goodies.

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