Protecting your children from allergens this Halloween

Daily life can be complicated when a child has food allergies. Even after you’re accustomed to scrutinizing food labels and preventing cross-contamination in the kitchen, holidays can derail your routine. Kids with food allergies can still enjoy Halloween—it just takes a few extra precautionary steps. If an adverse reaction does occur, the emergency care doctors at MountainView Hospital are available 24/7.

Safe trick-or-treating tips
Kids with food allergies should go trick-or-treating with an adult who carries an epinephrine autoinjector, and knows how to use it. Help coach your children on how to politely decline homemade treats and packaged candy that contains allergens .

Check the labels of each candy carefully before letting your child enjoy it. Be wary of “fun size” treats, as these may have different ingredients to their full size counterparts.

Alternative Halloween activities
Kids with food allergies are less likely to feel left out of the fun if you plan activities that don’t involve food. If you’ll be hosting a Halloween party, you could hold a costume contest, and hand out small toys to the winners instead of candy. Pumpkin carving—or painting, for younger kids—is another fun way to celebrate the fall season.

Teal pumpkins
The Teal Pumpkin Project was created as a way to connect kids with allergies to houses that offer allergy-free Halloween treats. Although the practice might not necessarily be widespread in your neighborhood, you could look for houses that display teal pumpkins. Take your child trick-or-treating at these houses to minimize potential exposure to food allergies.

You could also raise awareness about the Teal Pumpkin Project by participating. Paint your own pumpkin teal, and print out a sign that explains its significance. Set out a basket of non-food items and allergy-free treats for trick-or-treaters.

At MountainView Hospital, it’s our mission to empower families living with medical conditions. A physician at our state-of-the-art medical center in Las Vegas can help you learn how to keep your child safe from allergens. A registered nurse is available at (702) 962-5021 to answer your general healthcare questions.

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