Halloween Candy and Food Allergies

Halloween is frenetic for most kids – running from door to door, gathering enough sugar to rocket them to the moon. But some kids are less excited. They know that some of the candy they gather could land them in the hospital.

According to Dr. Sandra Banas, with Midwest ENT Consultants, kids with allergies CAN have a fun and sugar-laden Halloween. They just have to be careful. And candy givers could help by handing out candy that’s less likely to cause anaphylactic shock.

We all know about peanut and tree nut allergies, but those aren’t the most common food allergy. The list starts out with milk, followed by eggs and THEN nuts.

Milk. You know, like in MILK chocolate.

So handing out Tootsie Rolls as an allergen free treat because they are nut free might still cause problems for some kids.

Dr. Banas recommends candies like Smarties, Swedish Fish, Jelly Belly, Starburst, Skittles – sweet, but not chocolatey. Or, you can make the holiday not about candy, but about dressing up and getting into character.

Here are three tips to keeping kids safe on Halloween:

Tip #1: Stay away from candy that contains peanuts, has traces of peanuts or has been processed in a facility with peanut products. Some safe candy options include: Smarties, gum, mints, hard candy, Tootsie Rolls and/or jelly beans

Tip #2: Consider making a “safe” treat bag and delivering it to your neighbors prior to trick-or-treating time. That way, they can give it to give your child when they ring the doorbell. Consider using non-food items and low-cost trinkets such as stickers, fake tattoos, pencils or coins

Tip #3: Those with a known food allergy or history of food reaction – including hives, trouble breathing, throat swelling or anaphylaxis – should always carry a twin pack of epinephrine injector pens (EpiPens) in case of an emergency.

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