Halloween safety tips for kids with food allergies - 21 News Now, More Local News for Youngstown, Ohio -

Halloween safety tips for kids with food allergies

Updated: Oct 31, 2013 10:54 AM
© iStockphoto / Thinkstock © iStockphoto / Thinkstock

THURSDAY, Oct. 31 (HealthDay News) -- Halloween activities, such as parties and trick-or-treating, could be dangerous for children with food allergies, a medical expert warns.

Even mild food allergies that result in watery eyes or a rash could become more severe after a child is re-exposed to an allergen, said Dr. Joyce Rabbat, a pediatric allergy specialist with the Loyola University Health System, in Chicago.

"Food allergies can be tricky," Rabbat said in a Loyola news release. "Just because a child had a mild reaction, such as a rash, the first time doesn't mean it can't be more serious the next time."

Halloween parties featuring tempting treats become more worrisome with the number of U.S. kids with food allergies on the rise. During the past decade, there has been an 18 percent surge in the number of children with food allergies, according to the news release. That means 6 percent to 8 percent of children currently have at least one food allergy.

Although some food allergies are mild, others can trigger a dangerous reaction known as anaphylaxis, which progresses quickly and can cause airway swelling and low blood pressure. In extreme cases, anaphylaxis can affect a person's ability to breath and cause them to lose consciousness.

"While nut allergies have the reputation for causing severe reactions, any food allergy could result in a severe reaction like anaphylaxis," said Rabbat, who also is an assistant professor of pediatrics and internal medicine at the Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine. "Halloween candy often contains common allergens, such as peanuts, tree nuts, milk and eggs."

Rabbat recommended several steps parents or caregivers can take to ensure their child's safety during Halloween festivities, including:

Go food-free. Plan parties and events, such as costume contests, that do not include food, candy or other edible treats.
Speak up. If your child has a food allergy, be sure to inform the host of any Halloween party. It's a good idea to provide event organizers with a list of foods that may trigger an allergic reaction.
Clean up. Be sure to clean all cooking utensils, pans or other dishes if they have been in contact with a food allergen. It's also important to wipe down all surfaces after cooking or eating foods that are allergens.
Check labels. It's important to read labels to learn if particular foods contain allergens or have been made on the same machine as other products that contain an allergen. Rabbat said foods made in the same plant as other products that contain an allergen are probably not dangerous.


Parents also can take steps to make sure their kids with food allergies are safe while trick-or-treating. Rabbat said kids with food allergies should not trick-or-treat alone, and they should carry self-injectable epinephrine.

Once trick-or-treaters return home, parents should sort through their candy and remove any potential allergens. When in doubt about a particular treat, parents should play it safe and throw it away, Rabbat said.

"Although having a food allergy is serious, kids should still be able to have fun," she said. "The key is education. Make sure your child knows what he or she can eat. When in doubt, throw it out."

It's important to note that smaller or "fun-sized" candy may contain different ingredients than the regular-sized versions, Rabbat said. She said anyone who has consumed a food that contains an allergen should brush their teeth and wash their hands before hugging or kissing a child with a food allergy.

 

Copyright © 2013 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

*DISCLAIMER*: The information contained in or provided through this site section is intended for general consumer understanding and education only and is not intended to be and is not a substitute for professional advice. Use of this site section and any information contained on or provided through this site section is at your own risk and any information contained on or provided through this site section is provided on an "as is" basis without any representations or warranties.
  • Ohio/Pennsylvania NewsMore>>

  • Ohio police chief pepper-sprayed 15-year-old girl

    Ohio police chief pepper-sprayed 15-year-old girl

    Tuesday, September 16 2014 10:41 AM EDT2014-09-16 14:41:21 GMT
    DAYTON, Ohio (AP) - Dayton's police chief is defending his use of pepper spray on a 15-year-old girl accused of assaulting people at a downtown street fair last weekend. Dayton Police Chief Richard Biehl says he was helping officers break up a large fight at Friday's Urban Night celebration downtown. He said the girl approached the crowd from behind him and began assaulting people. He tells the Dayton Daily News he used his department-issued pepper spray on the girl, who was put into a cruis...More >>
    DAYTON, Ohio (AP) - Dayton's police chief is defending his use of pepper spray on a 15-year-old girl accused of assaulting people at a downtown street fair last weekend. Dayton Police Chief Richard Biehl says he was helping officers break up a large fight at Friday's Urban Night celebration downtown. He said the girl approached the crowd from behind him and began assaulting people. He tells the Dayton Daily News he used his department-issued pepper spray on the girl, who was put into a cruis...More >>
  • Ohio woman faces charges in fatal motorcycle crash

    Ohio woman faces charges in fatal motorcycle crash

    Tuesday, September 16 2014 10:30 AM EDT2014-09-16 14:30:43 GMT
    A 20-year-old central Ohio woman has pleaded not guilty to two felony charges in a weekend crash that left a motorcyclist dead and his 7-year-old passenger with serious injuries.More >>
    A 20-year-old central Ohio woman has pleaded not guilty to two felony charges in a weekend crash that left a motorcyclist dead and his 7-year-old passenger with serious injuries.
    More >>
  • Cops: Pregnant woman robbed stores for drug money

    Cops: Pregnant woman robbed stores for drug money

    UNIONTOWN, Pa. (AP) - A western Pennsylvania woman who is six months pregnant has been jailed on charges she robbed a convenience store and a fast-food restaurant and tried to rob a drug store, too, for crack cocaine money. Thirty-one-year-old Amber Reinhart faces a preliminary hearing Sept. 30 on charges stemming from the Sunday night crime spree in Uniontown. Court records don't list a defense attorney. Police say Reinhart robbed the BFS Food Store about 7:10 p.m. then tried to rob a Walgr...More >>
    UNIONTOWN, Pa. (AP) - A western Pennsylvania woman who is six months pregnant has been jailed on charges she robbed a convenience store and a fast-food restaurant and tried to rob a drug store, too, for crack cocaine money. Thirty-one-year-old Amber Reinhart faces a preliminary hearing Sept. 30 on charges stemming from the Sunday night crime spree in Uniontown. Court records don't list a defense attorney. Police say Reinhart robbed the BFS Food Store about 7:10 p.m. then tried to rob a Walgr...More >>
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Worldnow and WFMJ. All Rights Reserved. For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms