| October 5, 2011
Safety is Priority One for Halloween
Prevention and preparedness are important for every situation when it comes to children with food allergies. Since Halloween presents its own special challenges, we've taken the strategies from our Quick Guide to Practical Food Allergy Management and come up with some special tips you can use to make sure your little ones stay safe this Halloween.
It is important to ACT to prevent an allergic reaction.
Labels should be read
prior to eating the food. Ingredients can change without notification. Get familiar with
current labeling laws and how they relate to your specific allergens. Most importantly, if you are unsure if an item is safe,
do not eat the item!
COMMUNICATE: The child, all caregivers and anyone responsible for food
preparation should know about the allergy.
If your child is trick-or-treating or attending Halloween parties, be sure to communicate to the responsible adult about your child's food allergy.
TEACH: Educate all caregivers who have responsibility for the child. Include
children in developmentally appropriate self management skills (hand washing,
allergen avoidance, saying “no thank you,” reporting symptoms, etc.).
Remind your child not to eat any Halloween candy until you have verified its safety.
Be prepared to REACT.
RECOGNIZE ANAPHYLAXIS (a severe life-threatening allergic
reaction): Be comfortable knowing which symptoms suggest a severe allergic reaction and when to use self-injectable epinephrine. This should be discussed
with your healthcare provider. A written allergy action plan is very helpful
in an emergency and in training others who care for your child. Ask your healthcare provider
to fill one out for you and explain it to you.
If your child is trick-or-treating, bring a flashlight with you so that you can check the candy your child has received, check your child for symptoms such as hives, and see the self-injectable epinephrine if you need to use it.
GIVE EPINEPHRINE: Epinephrine is the first line treatment for
anaphylaxis. Always have self-injectable epinephrine available. It is wise to
have two doses at hand as some people may need a second dose. Discuss this
with your healthcare provider. Practice with training devices and make sure
that you are comfortable enough to not only give epinephrine if needed, but
to teach other caregivers how as well.
Be sure your child or a responsible adult is carrying epinephrine while trick-or-treating or at Halloween events or parties.
ACTIVATE EMERGENCY RESPONSE: After treating with
epinephrine, call your local ambulance service and tell them that a child is
having an allergic reaction and may need more epinephrine. (An ambulance
should be called not because epinephrine is dangerous, but because the
allergic reaction was severe, needed to be treated with epinephrine,
and may need more treatment.)
Be sure to bring a charged cell phone with you while trick-or-treating so that you can call for help if needed.
Accidental exposures to food allergens happen despite the utmost care parents take to avoid them. Allergic reactions can be unpredictable and subsequent allergic reactions can result in anaphylaxis even if prior reactions were minor. So you, your child and your child's care providers must always be prepared to react immediately to treat anaphylaxis.
For more information, save/print KFA's one-page Practical Food Allergy Management Quick Guide written by Dr. Michael Pistiner.
With proper planning, kids can safely enjoy Halloween, despite having food allergies!
Safely Celebrate Halloween with Food Allergies
KFA has a great collection of Safe Eats™ recipes, and a supportive and caring online community where you can connect with other parents preparing for Halloween. See what they are all doing, ask questions or bounce ideas off other parents who really understand the special challenges Halloween presents for children with food allergies.
These resources will also help you with celebration ideas, food allergy safety tips and more:
Safely Celebrating Halloween When Your Child Has Food Allergies
Celebrate Halloween With Food Allergies and Have Fun, Too! (8-page PDF booklet filled with tips, activities and ideas)
Plan Ahead to Keep Your Allergic Little Pumpkin Safe from Scary Stuff at Halloween
12 Tips for Trick-or-Treating Safety for Children with Food Allergies
Allergy-Friendly Recipes Make Halloween a Treat
A Message from Our Sponsor
Kids from KFA Featured on NBC San Diego
Kids With Food Allergies Foundation was a top 10 finalist in the national philanthropic Classy Awards in September 2011
Kalika (11) and Alex (9) represented Kids With Food Alleriges Foundation on the red carpet last month! They gave an interview to NBC San Diego that can be seen in this video (watch for them around the 3:30 mark in the video).
We are honored and proud that out of thousands of submissions, Kids With Food Allergies Foundation was a top 10 finalist! The Classy Awards helped us spread awareness about our charity and our mission to help families and children with food allergies have a a safe and healthy future.
View more photos from the Stay Classy Awards on KFA's Flickr set.
Deputy Recognizes Signs of Anaphylaxis, Saves 4-Year-Old Girl
"The parents of a 4-year-old girl are crediting an Anderson County deputy for getting medical help their child desperately needed."
Few Poor Kids Get Asthma Meds After ER Visit
"When low-income children end up in the ER with an asthma attack, few are prescribed the medication needed to prevent further attacks, a study of South Carolina children suggests."
Visit KFA's Allergy Buyer's Guide to find foods and products that cater to the food-allergic consumer. Please let our sponsors know that you found them through KFA!
Click to visit the website of Wegmans
Click to visit the website of Medic Alert
.MedicAlert is offering a special discount to KFA families: Save up to 25%
Protect your child (and yourself) with a MedicAlert medical ID; the only medical IDs with exclusive, live 24/7 emergency response and family notification services. For the KFA-exclusive price of $25, your child will receive one year of MedicAlert Kid Smart membership services and a FREE MedicAlert ID. Additionally, MedicAlert is offering KFA families a 25% discount on MedicAlert Advantage membership (for adults 18 and older).
Use Promotional Code 9039 (Adults) and 9040 (Kids) during check-out to receive this KFA-exclusive discount.
Surf Sweets are all natural and organic gummy candies and jelly beans that are free of the 10 most common allergens. Made with organic sweeteners and Vitamin C, our products are free of corn syrup and artificial dyes. They're fruitfully delicious, and known to cause a smile or two, or three! Send some extra love back to school with Surf Sweets' Snack Pack Multi-Packs. They make great BACK to SCHOOL treats! Multi-Packs are available in Gummy Bears and Sour Berry Bears. For more information, visit: www.surfsweets.com.
Sign up for an Associate Membership (no fee) to participate on our online support group forums.
School Nurse Shortages
Parents discuss school nurse shortages and getting involved to raise awareness by speaking to your school board or state legislature.
Always Read Labels: Cheese Warning
"We've had a bag of Walmart brand shredded mozzarella cheese in the fridge for a week before my daughter noticed the warning: may contain pecans, almonds, and soy."
How Do You Handle Babysitters?
"I am trying to figure out how to handle babysitting needs with my food allergic toddler. We have no family nearby.
What do you all do?"
Food Alerts! Have you checked the Allergy Recall Alerts section at KFA recently? The following foods were recently recalled:
U.S. Allergy Recalls
- M & P Food Productions: Vareniki Dumplings (undeclared milk and wheat)
Canadian Allergy Recalls
- ProLab: various protein products (undeclared milk and wheat)
- Erom Dr Hwang's: Premium Soy Drink (undeclared milk)
- Daesang FNF Corporation: various kimchi products (undeclared fish, shellfish, peanuts, treenuts, and sesame)
- MapleSmell brand: Dried Sweet Potatoes (undeclared sulfites)
Project Manager: Lynda Mitchell
Editor: Melanie Carver
Proofreaders: Jen Blanford, Melanie Croft, Kathryn Hankins, Cristi Schwamb
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Kids With Food Allergies Foundation makes no representation, whatsoever, for the contents that may be contained in any of the sponsors or advertisers in this newsletter or the quality of any products, information, or other materials displayed, purchased or obtained by you as a result of an offer in connection with any advertisement.
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