LYNCHBURG , Va. (WFXR) — Each year kids anticipate getting to wear their spookiest costumes and fill their bags with candy while trick or treating. However, for many kids that have food allergies, there are extra precautions that need to be taken.
Experts say, there are simple things people can do to prevent potentially life-threatening emergencies. Dr. Joey Lane is an allergist with Lynchburg Allergy Partners, and he says being aware is the best way to prevent reactions.
“Absolutely don’t eat anything where you don’t know what’s in it and you don’t know what the ingredients are,” said Lane.
For kids who are a little bit younger, he says parents need to be proactive and check labels before their kids dig in.
“We really encourage patients and children and parents to not eat candy while their out actively trick or treating, but for parents of food allergic kids to tell their children to bring the candy home and let their parents inspect it,” said Lane.
However, even after taking these steps, parents of kids with food allergies like Rebecka Robinson say there is still anxiety surrounding trick or treating.
“Some of it’s life-threatening anxiety because some kids can’t even be near anything that’s been in contact with some of their allergens,” said Robinson.
For parents– this can mean having to do a lot of extra planning. Jill Rubinaccio is a local mother with food allergic kids who says it can be tedious, but necessary, to always check food.
“It’s a lot of work on parents with young children and older children as well just to be so cautious about what the ingredients are,” said Rubinaccio.
Both Robinson and Rubinaccio say educating kids on their allergies is necessary.
“Encouraging the children to start advocating for themself even at such a young age,” said Rubinaccio.
“Teaching your kids safety if their old enough to know their allergens and how to read labels because it’s trickier than a lot of people think it is,” said Robinson.
While proper preparation can help prevent a large number of allergic reactions– Dr. Lane always recommends kids have their epi-pen on hand in case of accidental contact.