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Protect Children with Food Allergies on Halloween

Halloween is an exciting time for kids, but for those with food allergies, it can be difficult to manage. This can take a lot of fun out of the holiday for many children and their parents. However, it doesn’t have to be this way. 

Whether you’re a parent of a child with food allergies, or a neighbor who wants to provide safe treats for trick-or-treaters, you can help make the holiday fun for everyone. 

Adriana Andreae, MD, an allergist at University of Utah Health, offers these tips for a safe Halloween:

1. Set trick-or-treating rules

Before heading out to trick-or-treat, set a couple easy rules for kids with food allergies to follow:

  • Children should only pick up fully-wrapped candy.
  • For little children, parents should carry the candy bag to avoid accidental snacking.

2. Candy trade with your kids

Have fun with your kids with a candy trade-in session. This is where the parents take all candy that contains allergens and trade it for safe candy, treat, or toy.

3. Coordinate with party hosts ahead of time

Halloween parties can be problematic for those with allergies. It might be good to contact the host before to discuss any allergies and possibly provide safe alternatives.

4. Take the Teal Pumpkin Challenge

The Teal Pumpkin Project organized by FARE (food allergy research and education) raises awareness of allergen free trick-or-treating. Participating houses put a teal pumpkin out to indicate that they have allergen free treats. There is also a map where you can mark your house and find other allergy-safe houses.