a pumpkin surrounded by ghosts in the shape of a mask, a peanut, lipstick, and candy

How to Have an Allergy-Safe Halloween

Last updated: October 2022

It's that time of the year for haunted houses, costumes, and candy! Halloween is a favorite holiday for many. But for people with allergies, it may pose a risk.

Whether you celebrate by trick-or-treating or attending parties or work events, an allergic reaction can happen when you least expect it. Read on for tips to help you have an allergy-safe Halloween.

Prevent food allergy reactions

Food allergies are common, but some simple precautions can help keep you safe while still enjoying plenty of Halloween fun.

Read all labels carefully

While not all candy may contain allergens, there is also the risk of cross-contamination from processing on the same equipment. Most food labels will tell you whether the product has been processed on the same equipment or in the same facility as common allergens.

Avoid making assumptions

Keep in mind that although a candy may have been okay to eat in the past, it may now contain different ingredients and can cause an allergic reaction. Ingredients can be different depending on the size of the candy. Fun sizes may contain different ingredients, and the label should always be checked carefully. Avoid eating or giving out candy that does not contain a label.1

No candy on the go

If you are trick-or-treating with children, remind them that they should not eat any candy without asking first. This gives you time to review all labels and dispose of any candy that contains allergens. If you have children with food allergies, do not leave Halloween candy out where it is easily accessible.2

Offer allergen-free candy options or party favors if you are hosting a party or giving out candy in your neighborhood. If your children have food allergies, consider having a treat bag with allergen-free options and swapping their candy for treats.3

Latex allergies

Allergic reactions to latex might not be the first thing on your mind when shopping for Halloween items. But latex can be found in many things you may not expect. Here are some common items to watch out for:3

  • Makeup
  • Costumes
  • Accessories
  • Masks
  • Toys and party favors
  • Decorations
  • Balloons

Latex allergies can be mild or severe. It all depends on how sensitive to latex you are and how much latex you come into contact with. The best way to prevent a reaction is to prevent exposure to latex.4

Similar to preventing food allergies, there are precautions you can take to avoid exposure to latex. These precautions include:2,3

  • Checking the product labels on costumes, makeup, or accessories before purchasing or using to ensure they do not contain latex. Depending on the labeling, you may need to contact the manufacturer directly. If the product does not contain a label or you are unsure if it may contain latex, look for alternatives.
  • If you are entertaining and decorating for a party, avoid latex balloons and consider using latex-free options such as Mylar balloons.
  • Keep in mind that toys and party favors may be given away as treats and may contain latex.

Be prepared

Although you may take all of the necessary precautions, allergic reactions can happen at any time. If you are not able to prevent a reaction, you should be prepared to treat one. Carry an epinephrine auto-injector with you at all times. Teach those closest to you how to use it if needed.

With the proper precautions, people with allergies can have a fun and safe Halloween!

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