26 Oct Halloween & Food Allergies in Children
Halloween and food allergies in children can be a big concern for parents whose kids experience reactions to allergens in common candies. For these parents, there are some steps that can be taken to make sure their children enjoy a fun-filled and safe Halloween. Learn about some of our tips to help avoid a food allergy reaction.
Common Food Allergies in Children
Food allergies are an abnormal response in the body’s immune system caused by a particular allergen present in the consumed food. Food allergies are not to be confused with a food intolerance, which does not affect the body’s immune system. Common allergens that cause over 90 percent of food allergies in children include:
- Tree Nuts
Most severe reactions typically come from peanuts and tree nuts. If a child experiences an allergic reaction, it will typically occur within a few minutes to an hour after eating the allergen. Symptoms include:
- Congestion, runny nose
- Dizziness, lightheadedness
- Red, itchy bumps on the skin (hives)
- Shortness of breath, trouble breathing
- Stomach pain
- Strange taste in the mouth
- Swelling of the lips, tongue, and/or face
If a child shows signs of anaphylaxis, emergency medical attention is needed as soon as possible. Signs of anaphylaxis include difficulty breathing, wheezing, fast heartbeat, lightheadedness, fainting, or loss of consciousness. An epinephrine auto injector is used to help stop the reaction, but the child will still need to be taken to an emergency room for medical care.
Since many candies contain these common allergens, Halloween and food allergies in children can be a concern during this time of year.
Steps to Preventing a Food Allergy Reaction
It’s important during the Halloween season to take steps in preventing an allergic reaction for kids who experience food allergies.
- Check all candy before you let them eat. Read all product labels to ensure no allergens are present. However, some candies can be repacked with other candies that may contain allergens, so if you are unsure, it is best to be safe and not allow them to eat the candy.
- Monitor your child while they eat the approved candy. Do not allow children to keep candy in their room and make sure they cannot access it unsupervised.
- Look into buying allergy-friendly candies for your child as an alternative if none of their Halloween candy from trick or treating is safe for them to eat.
Food Allergy Treatment for Children
Knowing which allergens in foods your child has a reaction to is the first step in helping reduce food allergy symptoms. The board-certified allergists at McGovern Allergy & Asthma Clinic can identify the specific food allergies your child may have and create an allergy treatment plan. Call 713-661-1444 to schedule an appointment or click the link to request one online. https://www.mcgovernallergy.com/request-an-appointment-online/