Take fear out of food allergies on Halloween


Halloween can be an especially scary time of year if your child has food allergies. Brian Schroer, MD, a pediatric allergist at Cleveland Clinic Children's offers a few steps parents can take to make Halloween fun and safe.

‘Prime the pump'

You can take the fear out of food allergies


and make the holiday fun by ‘planting' allergy safe treats along your trick-or-treat route.

Bring some treats to the surrounding neighbors houses ahead of trick-or-treat time.

Giving people who are giving out the candy something to give your kids is a nice, quick and easy way to make sure children with food allergies don't feel left out.

Find the teal pumpkin

When out trick-or-treating with kids who have food allergies, it's


a good idea to search for houses giving away non-food items.

Keeping your eyes peeled for a teal-colored pumpkin on the front porch can help. A teal pumpkin signals food allergy safe treats.

This is called the Teal Pumpkin Project.

Keep epinephrine on hand

If your child has been prescribed a form of self-injectable epinephrine for food allergies, it's especially important to have it with you while trick or treating.

It's critical because you never know when a child may eat something they are allergic to and you want to sure you can quickly respond if needed.

Sift through the candy bag

Once trick-or-treaters return home, parents should go through their little ghoul's candy bag


to make sure anything allergenic, without a label, or suspicious is removed.

Food allergens to be most concerned about at Halloween include peanuts, tree nuts, eggs and milk products because some candies may contain them.

Kids with food allergies should avoid trading candy, but may do so anyway. Encourage your kids to ask you before eating any treats.