Yup, that is right, Halloween is the scariest holiday. No, it is not because of the goblins and ghosts or the haunted houses. It is because of the candy. No, I am not talking about all those crazy stories you hear of creepers injecting candy with drugs or because I am worried my child will eat too much of it and not sleep that night.
Here is the picture: Your adorable little one is participating in the excitement of the holiday. She can’t wait to get her costume on; she has been walking around the house with her treat bag since she got home from school, and she is practicing saying “Trick or Treat.” But in the back of your mind, you are dreading taking her out to Trick or Treat.
It is because I am the parent of a peanut allergy child, and Halloween is my worst nightmare. We are talking about hours of exposure to candy filled with nuts or candy made in factories that use shared equipment with peanut products. And, the warning labels are on the outer packages, not on the individual sized products.
I worry about transfer with peanut products. I worry about contamination with other candy that contains peanuts in the treat bags. I worry that she will get a candy open and in her mouth before I can stop her. I worry that she doesn’t fully understand why she can’t have the candy that other kids can have.
Have you tried explaining to a four-year-old, caught up in the moment, why she can’t have the same candy that her friends can have? Yup, it’s a good time.
It is the one night a year that I am a full on helicopter parent. I have an epi-pen in hand and Benadryl on standby. I take her to each door and sort through the candy showing her what she can and can’t have. If you have encountered me at your front door, I am sorry. Most people just look at me like I am crazy and move on to the next kid. I get it, it is a little crazy and controlling, but I know majority of people don’t understand just how scary Halloween can be in our situation. What starts out as a fun time can quickly escalate in to a situation that I can’t even bring myself to think about.
I am anti-bubble kid and don’t want to let her allergy stop her, so it is not about just staying home and not participating. It is about totally stressing myself out and jumping through all the hoops so that she has a good time and can be one of the rest of the kids and enjoy herself.
So, if you still have to buy Halloween candy, or if you have eaten through your entire stash and need to replenish before the trick or treaters arrive, please remember me when you are shopping. Remember how stressful of a holiday this is and select something that is safe for all kids to enjoy.
Suggestions on “Safe” Candy to Give Out for Halloween:
- Ring Pops
- Jelly Beans
- Blow Pops
- Fruit Snacks
- Dum Dums
Non-Food Options to Give Out for Halloween:
- Spider Rings
- Vampire Teeth
- Glow in the Dark items such as necklaces and bracelets
- Temporary tattoos
- Party-sized Playdough