Consumer Reports Explains How To Protect Kids From Halloween Allergens

Posted on October 28, 2013

In recent weeks, we’ve discussed some of the ways that parents can help keep their children’s Halloween as safe as possible, and one of the chief ways to do that is to not create any hazards with a costume choice.  Stressing visibility and comfort can go a long way toward eliminating some of the dangers associated with the holiday.

While those subjects are certainly important, Consumer Reports has come out with a valuable new report that focuses instead on how parents can help their children avoid some of the many allergy hazards associated with Halloween.  If your child suffers from an allergy that might be triggered over the course of the season, then consider some of the tips, which were compiled from the FDA and the American College of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology.

Let’s start with costumes.  There are many accessories, such as swords, belts, and various other items, that could contain nickel, which can prompt your child to suffer a bout of dermatitis if they are allergic to the substance.  Be on the lookout for itchy skin or rashes when your child is wearing his or her costume.  This is also important if you’re pulling a costume out of storage, as the dust mites that may have settled in could similarly cause a reaction.  Thus, you should wash anything that was stored since last year.

The same sort of caution also needs to be taken with any makeup accompanying your children’s costume.  Although makeup is going to be preferable to a mask that cuts down on a child’s vision, you may consider opting for the more expensive theatre makeup rather than the low-rent kind you can get at your typical Halloween shop.  Kids are more at risk of suffering a reaction with the cheaper kinds of makeup, but no matter the product, parents should be on guard for splotchy skin.

Of course, it’s not just the costume that creates an allergen hazard; after all, your child is going to be bringing home a bag full of candy to dine on.  If your child has a nut or milk allergy, he or she might feel left out if they come home only to be told they can eat hardly anything they’ve just acquired.  To prevent this, and to keep them from being tempted to eat candy anyway, have acceptable alternatives on hand that that child can consume.  If you’re handing out candy, you might even have alternate products ready for other kids in case they say they can’t accept the original candy you’ve offered.

Finally, although pumpkin allergies certainly aren’t common, they are a possibility.  If your child has what appears to be an allergic reaction but you can’t determine what the cause is, pumpkins may be the culprit.

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