Candy & Food Allergies

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Halloween’s indeed scary if you have a child with a serious food allergy.

Since candy and holiday treats are available everywhere for the taking, it’s important for families to be more vigilant about it. According to Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center (CCHMC), the most common food allergies are milk, egg, peanut, tree nut, fish, shellfish, soy and wheat — otherwise known as “the big eight.” Symptoms can range from stomach cramps to more serious reactions, like throat swelling that block airways. Whether your child has food allergies or not, the CCHMC web site offers the following tips for passing out and receiving candy this Halloween:

• Keep your child’s medicine and Epi-pen handy in case he accidentally ingests an allergen.

• Consider purchasing items that don’t contain eggs, milk, peanuts and tree nuts, or hand out alternatives like stickers, erasers, crayons, small toys or temporary tattoos.

• Carefully inspect all candy labels — if a label isn’t clear, or you are unsure, don’t let your child eat it.

• If your child goes trick-or-treating with friends, make sure to sort his candy carefully.

• Don’t leave candy lying around where little ones can find it.

• Make sure your children know to politely refuse homemade treats.

For more information, call CCHMC’s Food Allergy Clinic at 513-636-7210 or visit


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