Monday, September 19, 2011

The Scariest Day of the Year

It's hard to believe but the leaves are already changing and it means Halloween is right around the corner.

I like to call this "The Scariest Day of the Year." The only problem is it's the treats that I'm afraid of and not the tricks!

I am a big advocate of planning ahead to effectively manage food allergies. This leaves the "flying by the seat of your pants" part out. That just doesn't work with food allergies. Even though it's 6 weeks away, consider this your invitation to start planning!

Here are some things you can start thinking about (and it has nothing to do with the costume!)

1.) Will you let your child "Trick or Treat?"

2.) If your child does "Trick or Treat," will you let them eat the "safe" candy or not?

3.) What alternatives will you have when unsafe food and candy is present?

4.) Will you be involved in their Halloween class party? (This is a great way to be an encouragement when "unsafe" food is around.)

5.) Will you "skip" Halloween altogether and put your focus elsewhere on October 31st (family, helping others, etc)

These may not seem like deep questions but they all involve some sort of planning. Last year was the first year we let my son, Tyler, go to a bunch of houses (the traditional "Trick or Treating"). At each house he and his friend told people he was allergic to peanuts but he still ended up with peanuts in his bag!

What are your plans for Halloween this year? Have you thought about it?


Creations by Dina said...

I have two peanut allergy kids. They have both went trick or treat since they were very little. They know and are told every year that they are not allowed to eat anything until I sort out the candy. Most places we go have a basket out and have the kids choose a treat. My kids are getting pretty good at knowing what has peanuts and what doesn't. I still sort out there candy into the safe candy and peanut and tree nut pile. That candy goes to mom and dad!!

Amanda said...

We only Trick or Treat to a handful of places, all of which are family. My parents are great about buying an entire bag of lollipops just for little man. We also keep treats at home. When he was in daycare and they did parties I always had to take the treat bag away and go through everything. He's had his allergy so long that he doesn't care. He knows that he can't have peanuts and peanut butter and if I tell him he can't have something for that reason he's ok with it. So far that works for us but he's only 4. Next year when he's in school I will definitley be taking part in classroom functions because I know how easy it is to overlook things and think that just because an item doesn't directly have peanuts or peanut butter that it's safe for him to eat. I would feel much better being there and checking labels myself.

Andrew said...

I will let my child go trick or treat. He knows already what he can and can't eat. I'm not gonna deny his right to not have fun dressing up as a fireman on Halloween. He will have fun, the candy he gets, he passes it out to our disabled neighbor who can't go trick or treating.


Unknown said...

I love Halloween almost more than my little one does. He is 6 now and starting to understand the peanut allergies and the importance to know when to not eat something. (Small side note that I have did was pack a epi-pen in his backpack in a pen holder with a bright red cross on it with a not inside for my emergency contact info.) I recently took him around the different candy at the store; gave him my iPhone, and let him scan the candy to see what it contains. I used the Food Tester app from the Apple store. The nice thing is the little man like playing with it, its like a game to him. Anyways, I hope this helps with this "tricky" holiday (no pun intended)

Rose said...


My name is Rose. We were told 2 weeks ago that my 18mth old son is allergic to peanuts. He had the blood test done because he has a bunch of issues but is growing and reaching milestones wonderfully. In short he has sun sensitivity, dry skin, sensitive skin, eczema and last but not least he has not had a normal bm in almost a year. His allergy numbers were only a class 1. I have read that it gets worse though. His first allergist appt is in two weeks. I have not worked a full week in over a month otherwise it would have been sooner. I guess what I am wondering is I understand his severity is low but he has had peanut butter before and showed no signs of an allergy. Not that I knew to look but I don't remember any of his symptoms getting worse. Is that normal for a mild peanut allergy? BTW I am very happy to have found your site. Thank you for all of your helpful information.

kellie said...

My son is 6 and just recently (last week) we found out he is allergic to all nuts. I am terrified of the halloween candy! I'm going to go to the grocery store and look at every single package of candy in the candy isle so i know what is in the candy! then i'll feel better! I am still not letting him eat anything until i look at it and if i don't know, he can't have it!

Melinda said...

Every Halloween I let my daughter trick or treat anyway. I have two children, my youngest is the one that has the peanut allergy. We typically end up with way more candy than what we need anyway, so we made the rule that while we are trick or treating we can tell people that she has a peanut allergy if she wants, but she is not allowed to eat any of the candy until we get home and can go through it appropriately. A lot of times we end up dividing it out into "safe" and "unsafe" candy piles and her older sister will swap out candy that is unsafe from her sister's pile to a safe one from her pile. Quite truthfully, Halloween has been a great time of year to teach her how to be proactive with her own allergy and how to tell if things are safe for her or not. This works if your child can read, and you can show them how to read labels, or teach them to ask an adult when they are unsure. At school we usually provide a peanut free alternative for her to have on hand for class parties such as labeled cupcakes in the box or other items that are safe. -Melinda

Anonymous said...

Just discovered your blog and can relate to many of your entries. My DS is 4 and was diagnosed with a peanut allergy about 18 months ago. We skipped Halloween although he was sick so that made it easier. I've bookmarked your site and look forward to reading more in the future!

Anonymous said...

Just discovered your blog and can relate to many of your entries. My DS is 4 and was diagnosed with a peanut allergy about 18 months ago. We skipped Halloween although he was sick so that made it easier. I've bookmarked your site and look forward to reading more in the future!