thanks to our mom blogger, Deanna Cogdon Miller for this bonus Halloween post!
This is my first Halloween as a Mom of a child with a peanut allergy. I’d be lying if I said that I wasn’t feeling anxious about it.
For five years we’ve breezed through this day without a care in the world. Of course we’ve done the obligatory ‘treat check’ at the end of the night but our focus has been entirely on the fun aspect of Halloween. The stress-free, costume planning, pumpkin carving, outside-in-the-dark fun of Halloween.
Of course that all still exists but with our son’s recent nut allergy diagnosis there is now a layer of worry and complexity added on top of it. He’s almost two so this won’t be a huge Halloween for him. His sisters, on the other hand, are (almost) four and six have been eagerly anticipating this day since they got their costumes over a month ago.
We’ve had to have a pre-Halloween “talk” about our new rules for the day. Nothing can be eaten or given to their brother while we’re outside trick or treating and we’re going to have to go through their bags and take out anything that is dangerous to him. The girls are used to having hard candies and a few other kinds of treats taken away but this year there are going to be bars and chocolates that need to go too. Our six year old gets it. Our four year old doesn’t.
I’m embarrassed to admit that life-threatening allergies in children have never really crossed my mind when it comes to Halloween. Now that I’m living it, it’s all I’m thinking about. I made my treat choices this year based on the “may contain” information in the ingredients label. It’s a quick read and truth be told, those three seconds can keep a child safe.
According to Anaphylaxis Canada, peanut allergies affect 2 in every 100 children. This means that the likelihood is high that at least one of those adorable costumed critters knocking on your door tonight could have a severe or deadly reaction to nuts. As parents of kids with allergies we take full responsibility for their safety. As members of our community, it never hurts to be aware.