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ACAAI > Patients & Public > Newsroom > What's New

Scaring Away Frightful Halloween Allergy and Asthma Triggers

Halloween can be a scary time for kids with food allergies, allergic rhinitis and asthma.  Triggers that lurk in candy, costumes, makeup and decorations may cause a reaction that spoils the spooky fun. ACAAI suggests the following tips to keep little goblins with allergic conditions safe this Halloween.

  • Keep an eye on “fun size” treats – Even if the full-sized version of a treat is allergen-free, don’t assume the “fun-size” is safe, too. The mini versions can contain different ingredients or might be made at a facility where peanuts or other allergens are present.
  • Unmask allergens in costumes, makeup and decorations – Masks and costumes may contain latex and other common allergens so be sure to read their labels. Makeup, hair dyes and decorations can include ingredients that: trigger asthma; cause an itchy allergic reaction called contact dermatitis; or make existing atopic dermatitis (eczema) worse. Use hypoallergenic makeup or steer clear of makeup altogether.  Learn more about the different types of allergic skin conditions.
  • Be sure your child totes more than a candy bag – If your goblin has asthma or a life-threatening allergy, carry emergency medicines such as quick-relief inhalers or injectable epinephrine in case of a severe reaction.  Children with severe allergies or severe asthma also should wear medical alert identification bracelets or chains stating their diagnosis.
  • Scare asthma away – Masks can interfere with breathing, so children with asthma should wear a half mask or no mask at all. Also keep in mind that cold weather, running from house to house for candy, and exposure to allergens such as mold spores hiding in piles of leaves can cause asthma symptoms to flare up. 
  • Control consumption – Feed your goblins before they go trick or treating so they are less tempted to snack on potentially problematic candy. When you’re back home, trade allergen-free candy you’ve purchased for the candy they’ve collected. Or have allergic kids do a candy swap with their non-allergic friends.
  • Make your home the haunted house – Consider skipping trick or treating altogether and invite your child’s friends for a party, where you can control the food and offer fun activities such as bobbing for apples. Set up trick or treat stations around the house, each of which offers a different allergen-free treat.

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