While Halloween can be a fine holiday for children, the night
can be a scary experience for the parents of children with food
allergies. Allergies are on the rise-doubling over the last 10
years-according to The Food Allergy & Anaphylaxis Network.
About two million school-age children have a food allergy, and one
child in 17 under the age of 3 is allergic.
If your child has a food allergy, you're already vigilant. But
what do you do when your child wants to participate in that
time-honored tradition of trick or treating?
According to the American College of Allergy, Asthma and
Immunology, the most common food allergens for infants and young
children are cow's milk, hen's eggs, peanuts, tree nuts (walnut,
Brazil nut and pecan), soybeans, fish/shellfish and wheat.
A leading expert in this area is Marion Groetch, the dietitian
at the Jaffe Food Allergy Institute at Mount Sinai School of
Medicine in New York City. She recommends that parents read labels
before allowing children to enjoy their loot. "The same candy item
in different sizes-full size or snack size-might contain different
ingredients. Parents should remember to read all labels, even if
their child has eaten the candy before." She warns that if a candy
item does not have an ingredient label, it's not safe.
Groetch offers the following tips for parents to help them
create safe ways to enjoy the Halloween holiday:
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