Halloween, Eczema, and Food Allergies - Tips to Stay Safe
Halloween can be one of the most wonderful times of the year for children, but it can also be stressful if you have a child with food allergies. Trick or treating exposes kids to unknown foods, and Halloween parties at school or friends’ houses can be a source of concern if you're not sure that the goodies will be allergy friendly. Also, make sure that the costume your child is wearing won’t irritate your child’s eczema.
When it comes to costumes, cotton is best. Avoid purchasing costumes made of plastic and synthetics. It also probably goes without saying, but picking a costume that doesn’t involve face paint is also a wise decision. Including cotton gloves as part of your child’s costume is also a great way to protect their hands while also adding to their costume. Tencel® eczema garments can be a great barrier between your child's itchy costume and their skin. These garments are not only anti-itch, but they are also thermo-regulating so they absorb perspiration and wick it away from skin. Heat and sweat are known eczema triggers.
Trick or Treating
When it comes to trick or treating, have your child place their candy in a larger bag that you carry for them to reduce exposure. This is less of a concern if they’re wearing cotton gloves, as recommended above, but it’s a nice safety precaution. Make sure not to let your child touch or hold candy that they may be allergic to. Bring your child’s emergency medicines with you when trick-or-treating.
Halloween is a great time to get to know your neighbors. Give neighbors safe Halloween treats in advance and make sure that they’re aware of your child’s allergy.
As with all children but particularly if you have a child with eczema and food allergies, check your child’s trick or treat candy thoroughly for allergens and for general safety. Purchase allergy friendly treats in advance and swap it out with any inappropriate candy after the trick or treating has finished. Consider having the Witch Fairy visit your house the night of Halloween and bring presents and books in exchange for the Halloween candy. It is also good to have your child wash their hands throughly after trick or treating.
Prepare for Parties
Coordinate with the organizer of any Halloween parties. Whether it’s your child’s teacher, or a parent organizing a party at their home, inform them about your child’s allergy.
Consider volunteering at the Halloween party to make sure your child isn’t exposed to any allergen foods. Offer to contribute an allergy-free treat and make something homemade that’s your child’s favorite so they’ll be happy to have something they can enjoy safely without feeling left out of the other indulgences.
Try to influence the party so that the emphasis is generally more on crafts and games and less on food. Games like bobbing for apples have generally gone out of favor, but certainly any activities that involve getting wet could lead your children to prolonged exposure to moisture which can irritate their skin. Suggest non-irritating games and crafts instead.
Halloween at School
When it comes to parties at school, your child’s teacher would likely be glad for the help. Offer to help plan the party. There are a number of great crafting ideas that you can find on Pinterest and on YouTube. Buy allergy-safe non-food items at the dollar store to donate to the classroom. Organize a costume parade for the children to show off their dress-up duds. Find Halloween books and stories at the library that will be fun for the class to enjoy together.
When your child has eczema and food allergies, there will always be challenges and obstacles, but they don’t have to be difficult to overcome. With a little bit of preplanning and creativity, you and your child can enjoy a fun and safe Halloween together and for year’s to come.