Halloween Fright

Only 11 days until Oct. 31. The ghouls and goblins will be knocking at the door, bags open wide for Halloween treats. Each year I question myself about what our family should hand out. Should I stick with non-food items or maybe only candy safe for my food allergic son? I worry about the candy bars and other treats he will get as he goes door to door but it doesn't seem fair to tell an 8 year old he can't go trick or treating. He knows he can't eat anything until it's been checked and he also knows that we'll need to take away nearly everything he brings home. We swap the treats for safe ones. My heart breaks a bit, but he knows nothing different and seems to be fine with our arrangement. If you know that a child with a food allergy will be trick or treating at your home, there are a few things you can do:

* Drop the treat directly in the bag rather than handing it to the child.

* Don't call attention to the child's food allergy.

* If you want to have a safe treat available, check with the parents in advance. Some of our neighbors put boxes of raisins, safe candies, bags of pretzels or safe cookies in my son's treat bag. Again, don't call attention to the difference, but know that it's much appreciated when there are safe treats to enjoy.

* Consider handing out pencils, stickers or other non-food items.

* Comment on costumes and less on "look how much candy you've got in your bag". Yes, Halloween is about, but it's also about dressing up and visiting with neighbors.

So pull out those witches hats, stretchy spider webs and jack-o-lanterns and enjoy all of the festivities of Halloween.
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