Halloween with Asthma and Allergies: Tips for a Not Scary Halloween Night!
The leaves are changing colors, the temperatures are dropping, and Halloween is sneaking up on us (BOO!). If your child is living with asthma and/or food allergies, Halloween night can be an especially scary time—trying to keep kids safe while trick-or-treating, at parties, and at dances.
If your kid or teen has asthma or allergies and is heading out on Halloween night, whether trick-or-treating or for a party, here are some things to keep in mind:
Accessibility to medications
Ensure Halloween costumes have accessible pockets or other storage for medication. As someone who wears girl-jeans that often have faker pockets, I contemplate pockets on a regular basis! Ensuring kids costumes have secure pockets or pouches for medications like inhalers and Epi-Pens can help keep emergency medications readily available.
Pro tip: Some costumes were made for keeping meds accessible. If your child is choosing to dress up as a police officer, firefighter, or superhero, tool/supply-belt type items can easily be modified to hold meds. For a robot costume, add “control boxes” secured closed with velcro to store medications.
Ensure if teens are attending Halloween parties or dances that they also have figured out a way to store their medications, even if they are not in costume!
Consider the environment, allergies, and activity.
An anti-histamine before heading out may help children with allergies manage symptoms while out and about in the grass and pollen on Halloween night depending on your climate. If your child has exercise-induced asthma and tends to run from house to house, following their pre-exercise medication plan may help keep asthma symptoms at bay.
Around here on a nice October night, often adults will sit outside their homes with their bucket of candy and enjoy a fire in their yard while handing out treats. Consider skipping over houses with fires burning to keep the distance from the smoke, or ask a non-asthmatic sibling or friend to bring candy back to the roadside for kids with asthma.
Be prepared with safe snacks
Have safe snacks on hand. This goes for kids with and without allergies! Parents know they should always check their child’s Halloween candy to ensure it’s safe and hasn’t been tampered with, but seriously, for some kids, it’s hard to carry around a bag of candy for hours without a treat!
An adult can keep a few safe, allergy-friendly treats in their pocket or bag for when kids want a little something sweet. Older children may also stick a few safe candies in their pocket from home if they’re heading out with friends.
If teens with food allergies are headed out to a Halloween party or a friend’s house, they can bring safe snacks with them to share, as well.
Identify your allergies and yourself
Wear a medical ID. Halloween is, at best, unpredictable! Whether it’s a last-minute change of plans or a swap to a supervising parent who doesn’t know your child as well, medical ID jewelry can provide a bit of extra security (though it’s not a replacement for educating a child’s caregivers!). Insist on kids with asthma or allergies wear their medical ID bracelet or necklace on Halloween, wherever they may be headed!
On top of all the other recommendations to keep kids safe on Halloween—like light-colored costumes, reflectors, and lights, and keeping an eye out to ensure safety, Halloween with asthma or allergies can be tough to wrap your mind around! With a little preparation, it can be easier to ensure a safe—and not scary—Halloween night full of fun!
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