Halloween safety tips for kids with food allergies - NewsChannel5.com | Nashville News, Weather & Sports

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.

  • Medical News HeadlinesMedical News HeadlinesMore>>

  • Growing Stem Cells In Space?

    Growing Stem Cells In Space?

    Wednesday, April 23 2014 5:15 PM EDT2014-04-23 21:15:09 GMT
    Hemorrhagic stroke is responsible for more than 30 percent of all stroke deaths. It happens when a weakened blood vessel ruptures and bleeds into the brain.more>>
    Hemorrhagic stroke is responsible for more than 30 percent of all stroke deaths. It happens when a weakened blood vessel ruptures and bleeds into the brain.more>>
  • New Laser Treatment Stops Some Epileptic Seizures

    New Laser Treatment Stops Some Epileptic Seizures

    Tuesday, April 22 2014 6:00 PM EDT2014-04-22 22:00:21 GMT
    More than two million adults in the United States have epilepsy and 150,000 more will develop the condition each year. Usually, medication can control seizures, but about 30 percent of patients do not respond. Now, patients have a new treatment option that uses lasers to stop the seizures.
    more>>
    More than two million adults in the United States have epilepsy and 150,000 more will develop the condition each year. Usually, medication can control seizures, but about 30 percent of patients do not respond. Now, patients have a new treatment option that uses lasers to stop the seizures.

    more>>
  • Heating Up Breast Cancer

    Heating Up Breast Cancer

    Monday, April 21 2014 6:15 PM EDT2014-04-21 22:15:09 GMT
    Two years ago, doctors told Lisa Ridgeway she had triple negative breast cancer, a very aggressive disease with no cure. Lisa had surgery, radiation, and chemo, but her cancer came back two more times. Now she’s trying something new.
    more>>
    Two years ago, doctors told Lisa Ridgeway she had triple negative breast cancer, a very aggressive disease with no cure. Lisa had surgery, radiation, and chemo, but her cancer came back two more times. Now she’s trying something new.

    more>>
  • Migraine Relief: Stopping Pain & Relieving Pressure

    Migraine Relief: Stopping Pain & Relieving Pressure

    Friday, April 18 2014 5:15 PM EDT2014-04-18 21:15:06 GMT
    Meredith Messerli is thankful she can study without pain. The college freshman spent two years of her life battling severe migraines.more>>
    Meredith Messerli is thankful she can study without pain. The college freshman spent two years of her life battling severe migraines.more>>
  • Hope For Lanie: Curing SMA

    Hope For Lanie: Curing SMA

    Thursday, April 17 2014 5:15 PM EDT2014-04-17 21:15:09 GMT
    SMA attacks the body's motor neurons and causes paralysis. There is no cure, but for the first time doctors are studying an experimental therapy that targets more than just symptoms.more>>
    SMA attacks the body's motor neurons and causes paralysis. There is no cure for SMA but for the first time doctors are studying an experimental therapy that targets more than just symptoms, it targets mutated SMN genes, which are responsible for SMA.more>>
  • Washing Lungs & Breathing Better

    Washing Lungs & Breathing Better

    Wednesday, April 16 2014 5:15 PM EDT2014-04-16 21:15:09 GMT
    Imagine not being able to breathe without struggling: every breath you take is work; every breath you take could be your last. That was the case for one man who became dependent on an oxygen tank to stay alive.more>>
    Imagine not being able to breathe without struggling: every breath you take is work; every breath you take could be your last. That was the case for one man who became dependent on an oxygen tank to stay alive.more>>
  • Ocular Melanoma: Saving Lives, Saving Eyes

    Ocular Melanoma: Saving Lives, Saving Eyes

    Friday, April 11 2014 5:15 PM EDT2014-04-11 21:15:07 GMT
    Ocular melanoma, also called uveal melanoma, is a rare type of melanoma that targets the eye. It can be a deadly if it isn't spotted early enough. Now, there's a way to treat patients that's saving lives and saving eyes.more>>
    Ocular melanoma, also called uveal melanoma, is a type of melanoma that targets the eye. It affects about 2,000 people a year in the United States. Although rare – it can be a deadly if it isn't spotted early enough. Now, there's a way to treat patients that's saving lives and saving eyes.more>>
  • Memory Palace: Coping With Chemo Brain

    Memory Palace: Coping With Chemo Brain

    Thursday, April 10 2014 5:15 PM EDT2014-04-10 21:15:09 GMT
    More than 13 million Americans are living with some form of cancer. Harsh treatments like chemo and radiation save lives, but they will also change lives. Now, many cancer survivors are learning how to cope with chemo brain.more>>
    More than 13 million Americans are living with some form of cancer. Harsh treatments like chemo and radiation save lives, but they will also change lives. Now, many cancer survivors are learning how to cope with chemo brain.more>>
  • Pedaling For A Cure

    Pedaling For A Cure

    Wednesday, April 9 2014 5:15 PM EDT2014-04-09 21:15:09 GMT
    Five years ago, Leslie Trudeau's world came crashing down. At just 22 years old, her son Taylor lost his battle with leukemia. That's why Trudeau is pedaling for a cure.more>>
    Five years ago, Leslie Trudeau's world came crashing down. At just 22 years old, her son Taylor lost his battle with leukemia. That's why Trudeau is pedaling for a cure.more>>
  • Bringing Hearts Back To Life: New Improved Defibrillator

    Bringing Hearts Back To Life: New Improved Defibrillator

    Tuesday, April 8 2014 5:15 PM EDT2014-04-08 21:15:13 GMT
    CPR and a portable defibrillator helped keep Eric Robinson alive after he went into cardiac arrest. And now a newly FDA approved Biotronik implantable cardiac defibrillator, or ICD, constantly monitors his heart.more>>
    A year ago, while jamming with his son's band, Eric Robinson went into cardiac arrest. CPR and a portable defibrillator helped keep Robinson alive. And now a newly FDA approved Biotronik implantable cardiac defibrillator, or ICD, constantly monitors his heart.more>>
*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.
Powered by WorldNow
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 NewsChannel 5 (WTVF-TV) and WorldNow. All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.