Halloween is right around the corner! Your costume may be scary, but celebrating Halloween with a child with allergies doesn’t have to be. Follow these tips we’ve assembled to be prepared, be safe, and have FUN!
1 Dress for Success
Being seen is very important, especially if you intend on trick-or-treating after dark. By adding reflective tape to costumes, glow-in-the-dark elements (like jewelry or paint), or even lights/flashlights as part of your little one’s costume, they can be visible and safe.
Choose the right costume: KISS- keep it simple silly. Comfortable and fitting is the name of the game. Making sure costumes are a comfortable material and weather appropriate is the perfect starting place. Avoid crazy tails or headpieces that could be tripped on or cause them to fall.
Don’t forget the shoes and bag! A comfy shoe for lots of walking avoids blisters…or you having to carry them. Make sure their candy bag is sturdy and that they are able to carry with ease. If you’re worried about the bag getting too heavy, parents with backpacks or wagons to hold excess candy are a great solution.
2 Safety is Fun!
Talk with your little ones about what to if they were to get lost. Just wearing a medical alert bracelet could save their life and return them to you safely. Create a memory game to help kids memorize (if they can) your phone number. Look for groups of young kids with Mom’s if they are separated. And one of the most important – stay out of the road but in the light.
Bring medical supplies with the parents or chaperons as an important emergency plan.
3 Mind your Pee’s and Q’s
Have all kiddos go potty before beginning your journey. Making sure no one is hungry before you leave can stop early (potentially allergen filled) candy eating.
Halloween Etiquette is good to discuss, especially with the 6 yrs and up crowd. Running through the basics: trick or treat, please and thank you, no pushing, let little ones go first; only grab one, etc… helps make for a pleasant and fun Halloween!
4 Candy Inspectors
Inspect each piece of candy collected by the kiddos. Look for rips in the packaging, expired candy, clean wrappers, and most important: that each candy is allergy approved.
Even if you think a candy brand was safe to eat last year, it may not be OK this year. Check online to see if brands have changed their processing since last year.
Magic Box or “Switch Witch”
Any non-allergen approved candy can be placed in a magic box Halloween night, and the next morning they’ve magically been replaced with treats they can eat! Decorate the box ahead of time for extra fun! You could also include a story about the “Switch Witch” who looks out for little boys & girls with food allergies and takes the bad candy away to give them good candy or treats. Find great ideas for extra candy here!
5 Pencils, Rings, Bouncy Balls, Oh My!
It is inevitable; your child will not be the only one in the neighborhood trick-or-treating that has a food allergy. If you will be home (or if you leave a bowl out) having non-candy treats could make some kid’s night! It can be embarrassing and tiring to always be on the lookout for what candy bar is trying to kill you.
If you are concerned that your child won’t be able to eat any candy given to them (or if you just want to be extra cautious), I have a tip for you! Go around the day before to houses that will be visited Halloween night. Give them a treat you feel safe about and describe your child & what they will be wearing. You could also give your child ‘tokens’ or ‘vouchers’ to hand out to get their special treat. This ensures they won’t be mistaken for a ‘regular candy’ child.