If your child has a food allergy, ghosts and goblins aren’t the scariest things you’ll face on Halloween. Many Halloween treats, including chocolates and hard candies, contain common allergens like peanuts, tree nuts, milk, and eggs. Even more are at risk of cross-contamination, and even a small amount of these ingredients can lead to a life-threatening reaction.

It’s important that families with food allergies take special precautions to make sure the Halloween frights are all in fun but skipping the night doesn’t have to be one of them. Instead, here are eight helpful tips to ensure everyone has a happy – and allergy-free – Halloween.

  1. Wait until you get home to eat your haul. You can’t properly inspect your child’s candy while you’re still on the go. If you think your child will want to snack along the way, be sure to bring allergy-friendly treats with you.
  2. Read all candy labels carefully. This is especially important for “fun-size” versions, which may contain different ingredients or be made on different equipment than their larger counterparts. Be aware that even if your child’s allergen isn’t included in the ingredients list, many candies can contain trace amounts of common allergens due to factory contamination.
  3. Trade unsafe treats. Before you head out, make a plan to trade any unsafe or unlabeled treats for approved candies or non-food prizes your child can enjoy.
  4. Talk with your neighbors. If you live in a close-knit community, let your neighbors know about your child’s food allergy ahead of time. Let them know which candies are allowed or even provide them with approved treats they can hand to your child.
  5. Look for the teal pumpkin. Houses that display a teal pumpkin are participating in The Teal Pumpkin Project, an awareness campaign that encourages inclusion by swapping candies for fun non-food treats like glow sticks, bouncy balls, whistles, or stickers.
  6. Plan ahead. Accidents do happen, so it’s best to be prepared. Be sure to carry an epi-pen wherever you go and discuss with your group what to do in case of an emergency.
  7. Start a new tradition. If your child has severe food allergies, trick-or-treating may not be worth the threat. Instead, you might plan fun alternatives like hosting a Halloween party (so you can control the candy) or having a scary movie night.
  8. Treat your allergies with immunotherapy. If you want to take the trick out of Halloween treats for good, consider trying our sublingual allergy drops. Our pharmacy-compounded serum treats many common food allergens for real, lasting relief.