Avoid Food Allergy Scares This Halloween

By Buffalo Medical Group | October 27 2017 | Doctor Tips

Everyone loves a good scare on Halloween, but not when it comes to food allergies. Buffalo Medical Group allergist Dr. Roland Honeine shared his easy and effective tips on how to help your child reduce their risk of allergic reactions and enjoy Halloween this year.

Set up clear rules beforehand and remind them of the rules as they are trick-or-treating. You can also engage in role play with younger children.

  • Take the epinephrine auto-injector with you.
  • This is a fun night for the kids. make it memorable and allow them some freedoms if they show responsible behavior.
  • Do not feel overwhelmed. Plan your evening a few days in advance. Enlist the help of close friends and family.
  • Focus on what is safe to eat rather than what is not allowed.
  • Do not allow them to eat “homemade” or “freshly made” items. And always read labels.
  • Most small-sized candies do not have the ingredients printed on the wrapper, but you can find most nutrition labels online after you get back home.
  • Avoid unpackaged candy. This year, Reese’s is selling eyeball candy, bat-shaped candy and “white pumpkin” candy that contain peanut butter. Butterfingers has peanut skulls.
  • Your child should not eat while trick-or-treating. Once they get back home, you can engage in “triaging” safe and unsafe candy, then your child can barter the unsafe candy with their sibling or sell them to their parents.
  • Some parents prefill their child’s bag with safe candy. This usually gets kids excited and ready to go.
  • If you are concerned that your child may not follow your preset rules, you can stay at home, have your child dress up and give candy to the other kids “storming your castle.”
  • You may also elect to trick-or-treat at the homes of friends and family who know your child’s allergy and can be trusted to provide safe candy. Better still, you can provide the goods beforehand.

Once you’ve collected all of the candy that poses allergic threats to your child, there are different candy donation and buy-back programs. You may also be able to sell them to a dentist in your area. Often, the candy that is bought is shipped to U.S. troops overseas, as well.

Another helpful hint for children with food allergies are the teal pumpkins that are popping up more and more each Halloween. FARE’s (Food Allergy Research & Education) Teal Pumpkin Project is a movement to create a safer Halloween for all kids. Houses with a teal pumpkin offer safe treats, such as glowing sticks, spider rings or vampire fangs for children with food allergies.

The Buffalo Medical Group Allergy department sees adult and pediatric patients. To learn more about your child’s food allergies, schedule an appointment with Dr. Honeine today at 716.656.4988.