Allergy Tips for Parents on Halloween
Denver, CO —
Halloween can be difficult for parents of children with allergies, and even for parents of kids who don't. Face paints, candy and other foods all may pose potential health hazards for kids with allergies. National Jewish Health for Kids allergist Dr. Christine Cho offers the following tips to parents this Halloween.
Epinephrine saves lives
Kids, and adults, who are food allergic should carry their epinephrine autoinjectors at all times. Kids are often tempted to start in on the candy before getting home. It’s important that an accompanying adult or the child themselves carries their epinephrine while trick-or-treating. If you don’t have your epinephrine, don’t eat.
No label, no eat
Closely examine the food for any signs of tampering and the labels for any ingredients that might cause an allergic reaction. Allergies to peanut and/or tree nuts, such as walnuts, almonds and cashews, affect more than 3 million Americans, according to American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology (AAAAI). Smaller candy labels often don't have room for an ingredients list. If you don't have a label you can read, toss it, unless you can look up the specific candy's ingredient list online. Children with food allergies should only eat candy where the ingredients have been verified.
Grease or face paints can be problematic for a child whose skin is easily irritated. Hypoallergenic face paints are the best option to combat this. Also, make sure that the paints wash off easily. If the child has eczema, chronic red and itchy skin, avoid face and grease paint altogether.
Avoid the unknown and have a safe alternative
Kids will want to eat the candy immediately. Tell your child to come home first so that you can check the ingredients. Perhaps, slip a few safe snacks into children's trick-or-treat bags to help them avoid eating food that hasn't been checked by parents.National Jewish Health is the leading respiratory hospital in the nation. Founded 124 years ago as a nonprofit hospital, National Jewish Health today is the only facility in the world dedicated exclusively to groundbreaking medical research and treatment of children and adults with respiratory, cardiac, immune and related disorders. Patients and families come to National Jewish Health from around the world to receive cutting-edge, comprehensive, coordinated care. To learn more, visit the media resources page.
We have many faculty members, from bench scientists to clinicians, who can speak on almost any aspect of respiratory, immune, cardiac and gastrointestinal disease as well as lung cancer and basic immunology.