NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – For people with peanut allergies, Halloween can be a concerning event.
Ellen Bruns, who is in 11th grade, told News 2 as a young child she was diagnosed with a severe nut allergy. She says she has made accommodations on Halloween for years.
“I would get what I got and, say I couldn’t have it, I would go and trade with my siblings and my friends and lay it all out, and pick and choose, I can’t have this, can I have that,” she explained.
Dr. Stacy Dorris is a pediatric allergist with Vanderbilt Children’s Hospital. She explained what many families will be faced with Tuesday night.
“These kinds of holidays where food is associated or is predominant in the celebration, there is an amount of tension and anxiety on how to manage in the moment this influx of delicious yummy treats,” said Dr. Dorris.
She knows personally how challenging it can be. Her 8-year-old daughter has a peanut allergy.
She says on Halloween you need to make sure your children carry at least two EpiPens with them, check the expiration date on the EpiPens, and use Halloween as an opportunity to educate your children.
Dr. Dorris told News 2 it’s also a great time to teach your children how to learn to read ingredient labels.
“You can sit with your children, you can sort through the candy and that can provide a visual cue. This particular food contains for example peanut,” said Dr. Dorris.
Experts say it’s important not to make your children feel separate or as though they can’t take part in the fun. Instead, use Halloween as a teaching tool to educate them about their condition and how to keep themselves safe.