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"You want Halloween to be scary for the right reasons -- ghosts, goblins and witches -- not allergies and asthma," said allergist Dr. Stephen Tilles, president of the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology.
Here, Tilles offers parents tips on how to limit the risk of allergic reactions:
Don't let children consume any candy that isn't clearly labeled for indications of potential allergens. Have them bring all goodies home for you to inspect, or drop off safe treats for your child with friends and at school.
Does your child have asthma? Keep an inhaler on hand while trick-or-treating, in case of exposure to smoke machines or mold while running door to door. A child who wheezes might also do better with a hat than a mask.
Pay attention to costuming. For example, children who struggle with a metal allergy might do well to wear gloves. And for those at risk for eczema, use only hypoallergenic makeup, or avoid makeup altogether. Also, read garment labels to avoid materials such as latex that could pose a problem.
A teal-colored pumpkin on the doorstep is considered an indicator of food allergy awareness. This lets others know that that particular household will provide a nonfood trick-or-treat alternative.
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SOURCE: American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology, news release