Hudson Allergy

Tag Archives: Halloween

Move Over Black & Orange – Teal Is In for Halloween!

Halloween is just around the corner – but there’s no reason to be scared!

The Teal Pumpkin Project is in full swing again this year, promoting the inclusion of all trick-or-treaters and making Halloween safe for children with food allergies. Did you know there are nearly six million children in the United States with food allergies? Young children are affected the most, according to Food Allergy Research & Education organization. Many children consider Halloween their favorite holiday, but those with food allergies can feel left out of the fun. Thanks to the Teal Pumpkin Project, however, all children can participate in the holiday.

If you want to take part in the fun, you only need to do two things: display a teal-colored pumpkin at your door and offer allergy-friendly treats. Not sure what to pass out to trick-or-treaters? We suggest non-food items like bubbles, crayons, stickers, small toys, bracelets, and other child-safe and allergy-free alternatives. Once you’ve picked out your goodies and have your teal pumpkin ready, you can add your home to the FARE map to help parents and trick-or-treaters find you.

Don’t have time to paint your own pumpkin? The FARE website has a variety of free resources available, including printable flyers and signs that you can display instead of a pumpkin. (FARE also offers fun at-home activities you can do with your children, such as coloring sheets and pumpkin stencils.)

Are you planning to participate in the Teal Pumpkin Project this year? Send us a photo of your pumpkin or the goodies you’ll be handing out! We’d love to see your creativity on display.

Hudson Allergy is happy to participate in the Teal Pumpkin Project again this year. Check out our pictures below!

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Don’t Be Scared: 6 Tips for Celebrating Halloween with Allergies

It’s that time of year again: Americans all over the country are settling into fall. For many, this means sipping on a pumpkin spice latte while Googling unique patterns to carve into pumpkins and deciding where to hang fake spider webs.

For American children it means picking out a costume and practicing telling neighbors to smell their feet and give them something good to eat. Unfortunately, the “give me something good to eat” part can present a problem for the 1 in every 13 children with food allergies.

You may be worrying about how to handle Halloween if your child has food allergies or sensitivities, but rest assured that there are ways to celebrate this wickedly fun holiday safely and without triggering an allergic reaction. Here are our six tips for celebrating Halloween with allergies:

Be careful with costume makeup.
Many costumes include an element of makeup, such as painting your child’s face a solid color or painting on fake scars or wounds. Remember to be cautious when using Halloween makeup, as it may cause an allergic reaction. Be sure you are using high-quality makeup and do a test of the makeup on a small patch of skin a few days before Halloween to see if a reaction is triggered.

Be prepared.
Before leaving the house on Halloween, do a quick check to make sure you are bringing along all essential items your child needs for their allergies or asthma, such as inhalers, medications, or an EpiPen. Also be sure that another responsible person has been educated on the use of your child’s EpiPen and knows what to do in case of an emergency.

Teach children how to read ingredient labels.
It’s critical that your child understands which foods and ingredients are off-limits to them before they go trick-or-treating or attend a party. Food labels are a key source of information for those with food allergies, particularly with regard to hidden allergens, so it’s important to teach your children how to properly read them and recognize hidden allergens. For safety, children should be taught that “may contain” on ingredient labels should be read as “likely contains.”

Find an alternative to trick-or-treating.
You may decide that it’s best to skip trick-or-treating altogether. If you make this decision, there are plenty of other non-food related activities that you can do with your child to stay in the spirit of Halloween, such as a scary movie marathon, visiting a haunted house, or carving pumpkins. If you do decide to go trick-or-treating…

Look for teal pumpkins.
The Food Allergy Research & Education organization hopes people “go teal” for Halloween. FARE’s Teal Pumpkin Project promotes an allergy-friendly Halloween by encouraging people to offer non-food treats to trick-or-treaters, such as crayons, small toys, stickers, bubbles, and other items. Anyone participating in the Teal Pumpkin Project will be displaying either a teal pumpkin or a sign noting that they are participating. For the nearly 6 million children in the US with food allergies, the Teal Pumpkin Project is a wonderful initiative that allows them to join in on the holiday fun.

Swap candy for other treats.
When you and your child return home from trick or treating, sit down and sort through the candy they have collected. You can read ingredient labels together and remove anything that could cause an allergic reaction. Depending on your child’s allergy there may not be much left that they are able to eat (or perhaps anything at all). Plan ahead for this possibility and buy allergy-safe treats in advance. On Halloween night you can swap the candy that your child has collected for the allergy-safe toys and treats.

It’s easy to see why nearly two-thirds of American children say that Halloween is their favorite holiday. Thankfully it is still possible for children with allergies to enjoy the holiday safely – it just requires a little preparation.

If you believe you have food allergies or have questions about resources available to people with allergies, give us a call. Or, if you are looking for an allergist, we’d love to meet you. We can be reached at 212-729-1283 or send us an email at info@hudsonallergy.com.

Six Tips on How to Handle Halloween if You Have Food Allergies

Children and adults alike enjoy the excitement of Halloween, whether it’s dressing up in costumes or chowing down on tasty candy and treats. For those with food allergies, however, Halloween can be a difficult, if not stressful, holiday due to the overwhelming presence of treats with common allergens, such as peanuts, tree nuts, wheat, dairy, and other allergens.

Halloween and food allergies

Even though it may take a little additional preparation, food allergy sufferers can have a safe and happy Halloween with these six tips:

1. Check the ingredients. Before chowing down on Halloween candy or party snacks, check the ingredients. Thoroughly read the ingredient label on every piece of candy before you (or your child) eat it. Also be aware that the allergy statements on different sizes of candy bars may be different, even if they are the same brand. You can donate any candy that contains allergens to non-allergic family members or share it at work.

Nuts, one of the “Big 8″ allergens, are commonly found in Halloween candy. We previously shared information on Halloween and peanut allergies in this infographic, which helps adults and children learn more about peanut allergies and how to stay safe during Halloween.

2. Make your own fun. Instead of heading to the neighborhood Halloween party, throw your own get-together at your house. This way you can control all the food and provide allergy-friendly snacks.

3. Be prepared. Make sure you have your (or your child’s) medication, such as an EpiPen, on hand wherever you go on Halloween. Be sure that someone else besides yourself knows how to administer the medication and understands what to do in the event of an emergency, like calling 911 if necessary.

4. Think beyond “trick or treat.” Swap the classic trick-or-treating with other Halloween activities, such as visiting haunted houses, watching scary movies, or visiting Halloween-themed exhibits at local museums, zoos, or theme parks. If you do decide to go trick-or-treating…

5. Go trick-or-treating with your child and before heading out, identify what candy your child is allergic to and establish ground rules for how your child should handle any candy they receive. Make a “safe” bag of allergen-free snacks to carry with you so that your child can eat candy as they walk around the neighborhood. Don’t let younger children carry candy they may be allergic to, as they might not understand the risk and eat some. After trick-or-treating, sort through the candy and discard any with allergens, or simply swap your child’s Halloween candy haul for a pre-made bag of safe candy and treats.

6. Look for teal pumpkins. The Food Allergy Research & Education organization wants people to “go teal” this Halloween. FARE’s Teal Pumpkin Project encourages people to display a teal-painted pumpkin at their door if they have non-food treats, such as stickers, bubbles, crayons, or small toys, to pass out to trick-or-treaters.

People that follow these tips and their normal food safety rules this holiday will be able to enjoy all the classic Halloween activities and maybe even start a few new traditions!

If you believe you have food allergies or have questions about resources available to people with allergies, give us a call. Or, if you are looking for an allergist, we’d love to meet you. We can be reached at 212-729-1283 or send us an email at info@hudsonallergy.com.