RAPID CITY, S.D. (KEVN) Halloween is almost here, and as everyone gets ready to put on their costumes and hand out candy, it's important to remember that this can be a scary time for parents and children who have food allergies.
Many kids look forward to getting sweet treats on Halloween. (KEVN)
Halloween. A time for kids to get dressed up and indulge in sweets, but for some kids, it's not as easy to enjoy those treats.
"For families who are managing kids with food allergies or special dietary needs, it can be a little bit tricky and certainly can be scary for some families as well," says an allergist for Rapid City Medical Center, Dr. Anderson.
Dr. Anderson says nuts, milk, wheat, and soy are some of the top allergens, and many of the traditional candies that are given out have those ingredients.
"And often, the little individually wrapped candies are not labeled," says Dr. Anderson.
Another challenge those with allergies may face is that some items contain different ingredients based on the size of the candy.
"Children who have severe foods allergies even a small amount of the food that they're allergic to could result in a life-threatening reaction," says Dr. Anderson
To make sure that everybody has a safe Halloween, you can do your part by filling up two buckets. You can fill one with candy and then one with some toys for the kids who have allergies.
This idea is often known as the Teal Pumpkin Project.
"They don't have to worry as much about label reading, but rather have the option of picking a nonfood treat," says Dr. Anderson.
It's easy to participate in the project. All someone has to do is paint or buy a teal pumpkin and just put it out on their doorstep.
"When a child comes to the door, you can essentially offer both and say this is food treats, and these are nonfood treats. And that way, it makes Halloween very inclusive for all children," says Dr. Anderson.