For most children, Halloween is about dressing up in a costume, trick or treating, and feasting on free candy. However, for the parents of the 13 million children with food allergies in the United States, Halloween can be a tricky situation to handle.
Halloween is the holiday meant to ignite fear and horror, and for parents of children with food allergies, it can be a justifiable fright. Trick or treating, while a timeless tradition, can cause health risks for those stricken with food allergies, especially since food allergies are becoming increasingly more common. Current studies show that food allergies affect one in 13 children under the age of 18. For a holiday that centers on distributing candy, this poses a challenge for a sizable portion of the population.
However, parents can ease their fears by taking preventative steps to educate their children. By establishing a few key guidelines and identifying potential triggers, parents can make Halloween a safe and enjoyable holiday for both themselves and their children.
Trick or treat?
Milk, eggs, and peanuts are some of the most prevalent food allergies in children. Unfortunately, these are also some of the more common ingredients in Halloween treats. Many of these treats list the ingredients and a warning label on the wrapper, so teach your children how to properly read these warnings.
Good things to those who wait
People always say that patience is a virtue. While a candy wrapper may state that a certain allergen is not present in a piece of candy, cross-contamination is an ever-present risk. Children with food allergies should, therefore, be taught to wait until arriving home to consume their Halloween treats. By waiting until he or she arrives home, an adult will be present in case the child has a reaction and need to be rushed to a Lacey urgent care center for treatment.
Know your area
Sadly, prevention measures aren’t fool-proof. While the natural reaction of parents is to bring their child to the ER, urgent care centers are well-equipped to handle allergic reactions. Being aware of the location of the nearest dependable Lacey walk-in clinic or urgent care, such as U.S. HealthWorks, is a great idea in case your Halloween goes from fun to terror.
(From This Halloween, Allergies Don’t Need to Cause Fright, The Huffington Post)