By Avery Keatley
Halloween is the time when scarecrows come alive to scare trick-or-treaters, and haunted houses entice the brave to shuffle through dim hallways, unaware of what lies behind every corner. This brand of fear, where there’s no real danger, is what Halloween is all about. Unfortunately for children with allergies and asthma, Halloween can very quickly warp from good-natured fun to truly dangerous.
There are a host of allergens and asthma risks associated with Halloween. How can you make sure your child has fun and stays safe? Check out these tricks and tips for making sure you and your child can breathe easy come Halloween night.
- Consider costume choice. Old clothes from the thrift store or the attic can be home to allergens. Be sure to wash all clothes before you use them for costumes. The American Lung Association says nickel can also trigger allergies, so beware of faux-metal props that might have nickel.
- For most of the U.S., Halloween is cold. For some asthmatics, cold air can make breathing difficult because the lungs respond better to warm, humid air. Give your child a small scarf she can put around her nose and mouth to help warm up the air. Think about this beforehand, and see if there’s a way you can incorporate it into your child’s costume.
- If your child is going trick-or-treating without you, make sure they have their inhaler handy. If another parent is going with them, talk to the parent and let them know your child has asthma or allergies, and what to do in case of emergency.
- Look out for candy. While drug-laced candy has been a popular (and largely ungrounded) urban legend since the 1970’s, it’s more likely your child is at risk for allergens in candy. Be on the lookout for things your child might be allergic to, such as peanuts, eggs, or soy.
- Some places suggest giving toys and stickers instead of candy, but it’s doubtful many children would want to swap candy for stickers. If your kids have candy they can’t eat, consider swapping it for some home-made treats. That way, the kids still get treats, and you get peace of mind knowing they’re allergen free.
How do you keep your kids safe on Halloween? Leave a comment and let us know!