Halloween screams should come from spooky ghosts and witches. But when your little goblin has to manage asthma and allergies, the real fear can be avoiding scary triggers. Planning ahead to avoid triggers can reduce stress and minimize the chances of an allergic reaction or asthma attack.
Here are some tips to make your child’s Halloween safer.
Talk with Your Child About Treats to Avoid
For some kids, Halloween is all about candy and treats! But a child with food allergies can get excluded from the fun. Take extra steps to make sure your child still has a great Halloween and stays safe at the same time.
- Communicate with teachers and neighbors. Make certain to discuss your child's triggers, how to recognize an allergic reaction, and know what to do if it happens.
- Ask everyone to read labels and be aware of ingredients, with a special eye on avoiding cross contact with allergens.
- Have a copy of your child's action plan available to all their caregivers. If your child is older, talk to them about how to explain their allergies to others.
- Make certain everyone knows where your child's EpiPen or rescue inhaler is and how to use it.
Costumes Can be Dangerous, Too
Many kids spend weeks planning to dress up as a superhero, fairy princess, or scary monster. Check that costume fabrics, pieces, and accessories are not allergy or asthma triggers.
- Masks and costumes may contain latex, nickel, and other allergens. Always read the labels on costumes and accessories before using them.
- Watch out for masks and dress up pieces that have been stored for long periods of time; they should be checked for dust mites and mold in storage. Even brand-new costumes can carry dust mites, so wash them before wearing.
- Read labels for cosmetics, too. Make-up, face paints, and hairsprays can cause an allergic reaction in sensitive people.
Be Alert and Avoid Triggers
By staying ahead of the game, you can make sure your child gets to spend Halloween just being a kid. Here’s a few other tips to keep in mind.
- If your child has asthma, make sure their rescue inhaler is always close by.
- Piles of leaves and hay bales can harbor mold spores and pollen.
- If you're visiting the home of a friend, ask if anyone smokes or has pets.
- Scented candles and room fresheners can be asthma triggers. Use battery operated candles instead.
- Dry ice and fog machines help set a spooky mood, but both can make breathing difficult (even for those without asthma).
- Being scared can be a fun Halloween tradition, but excitement and fear can be asthma triggers. Make sure your child’s spooky experience is age appropriate and ensure they take all of their asthma medications as prescribed.
- Running from house to house while trick-or-treating or playing active games can trigger exercise induced asthma. Be sure to follow your doctor's instructions about pre-treating before exercise.
- A crisp October night may get cold quickly. Take a scarf to cover your mouth and nose to help reduce the effects of the cold air.
Above all, it’s important to follow your doctor’s recommendation.
If your child has trouble remembering to take their inhaler, then you may want to look into the Hailie™ solution. The Hailie™ solution can help children and adults manage their asthma.