Want to hear something really scary at Halloween? Food allergies and caramel apples.
Why parents should know about teal pumpkins and listeria for trick-or-treating
Razor blades in apples?
We’ve heard these scary tales since we were little kids. Parents make sure you check your kids’ candy before they begin munching on their treats, but know that many of the stories you’ve heard are meant to scare your little brother.
Are there some particular dangers you should be aware of for the last day in October? Yes! Here are a couple of other Halloween treat issues you should know:
Children with food allergies can have a particularly challenging time during all holidays, including Halloween. Their desire to feel included in the rite of passage that is trick-or-treating doesn’t always mesh well with the risk of getting food that could harm them.
Many of the most common food allergies are frequent ingredients in Halloween treats (nuts, milk, egg, soy and wheat).
Over the past few years, there has been a movement towards providing non-food options for trick-or-treaters. You can designate your house a food-allergy friendly house by painting a pumpkin teal or for those of you are aren’t as crafty (or are just too lazy or don’t have enough time), you can print out this flyer and tape it to your door.
Listeria in caramel apples
Besides being a risk for ripping my front teeth out, caramel apples can harbor Listeria. Remember Listeria, you guys? It’s why I haven’t had Blue Bell in months. According to a recent study from the American Society for Microbiology, it seems that when the apple is punctured by the popsicle stick, the small amount of juice that comes out can become infected with Listeria.
Listeria is a particular concern for pregnant moms, the elderly and newborns so please don’t let your newborn munch on a caramel apple.
Some stores are pulling caramel apples off the shelves in response to this study.
Halloween can be a great time of fun for all kids.
For more information, check out our Halloween safety page.
Justin Smith, M.D., is a Cook Children's pediatrician in Lewisville . He attended University of Texas, Southwestern Medical School and did his pediatric training at Baylor College of Medicine. He joins Cook Children's after practicing in his hometown of Abilene for four years. He has a particular interest in development, behavior and care for children struggling with obesity. In his spare time, he enjoys playing with his 3 young children, exercising, reading and writing about parenting and pediatric health issues.