Halloween Dangers for Children with Food Allergies

 

With Halloween just one week away, kids across Kansas City are getting ready to go trick-or-treating. Costume preparations are underway, as well as making sure you have enough candy for the day.

However, for some children, Halloween treats have tricks that parents may not have anticipated. Parents, if you aren’t sure if your child has a food allergy, you could be inadvertently putting them at risk when you let them bite into that candy bar.

Prepare for Food Allergies This Halloween

Different food allergies can affect your child’s Halloween experience. Common food allergies include:

Celiac Disease or Gluten Allergy

Celiac Disease

Celiac disease is an autoimmune disorder that causes the immune system to attack the small intestine when gluten is consumed, stopping the body from properly absorbing nutrients. Celiac disease can cause wide-ranging symptoms, including diarrhea, stomach pain, bloating, fatigue, rashes, and joint pain. In America, 1 in 133 people suffer from Celiac disease.

Gluten Allergy (aka Wheat Allergy)

A wheat allergy or gluten allergy is not as severe as Celiac disease, but it’s still a serious medical condition. Ingesting gluten can cause rashes, swelling, difficulty breathing, and loss of consciousness.

Candy with Gluten

You might not expect Halloween candy to trigger a gluten allergy, but any parent of a child with Celiac disease can tell you that many sweet treats do include grains or could be tainted by gluten by cross-contamination, such as Twizzlers, Twix, Kit Kats, Milky Way, Mr. Goodbar, Pretzel M & Ms, Whoppers, and Crunch Bars.

Peanut & Tree Nut Allergies

Tree nut and peanut allergies are also extremely hazardous during Halloween. These food allergies occur when your immune system thinks peanut or tree nut proteins are harmful, so any direct or indirect contact with the foods triggers the release of chemicals that cause certain uncomfortable symptoms.

Peanut and tree nut allergies aren’t only triggered by eating foods containing nuts, either — sometimes, just touching nuts, inhaling aerosols or dust containing nuts (like peanut flour or peanut oil spray), or handling food that was processed around nuts can cause an allergic reaction.

How Common is a Peanut Allergy or Tree Nut Allergy?

According to Food Allergy Research & Education (FARE) reports, 25-50% of people with a peanut allergy also have a tree nut allergy. Both types of food allergy are on the rise, with the peanut allergy rate more than tripling from 1997 to 2008.

Candies to Avoid for a Tree Nut or Peanut Allergy

There are quite a few candies that are harmful to children with a tree nut allergy or peanut allergy, including Snickers, Almond Joy, Reese’s, Peanut M&Ms, and Mr. Goodbar. Many other chocolates, including 3 Musketeers, Butterfingers, and Milky Ways, are processed with candies that contain nuts, and therefore pose a risk of cross-contamination. Be sure to carefully read all candy labels to ensure that treats are safe for consumption if you or your child has a tree nut or peanut allergy.

See if Your Child Has a Food Allergy Today!

FARE reports that 8% of children have a food allergy, and young children are at the highest risk. Worst of all, some food allergies don’t have symptoms or have symptoms that are easily mistaken for other medical conditions.

Test Smartly Labs offers food allergy testing to give parents peace of mind and discover potentially dangerous food allergies. Quick, painless allergy testing can check for over 200 food allergies; our modern allergy testing involves a simple blood draw, not the painful allergy tests of days past.

LOOKING FOR RELIABLE HEALTH AND WELLNESS TESTING? CONTACT TEST SMARTLY LABS OR CALL (816) 800-9699 TODAY TO MAKE AN APPOINTMENT AT ANY OF OUR 5 KC-METRO LOCATIONS!

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