Oral Allergies and Halloween Candy
Unfortunately, food allergies are on the rise, and many common food allergens can lead to Halloween candy allergies. Nuts, milk, eggs, soy and wheat are among the most widespread allergens and affect both children and adults alike. Some of these same foods also cause digestive distress, but this mild, short-lived condition is not the same as a true allergic reaction that often requires hospitalization. Oral allergies to foods lead to a range of symptoms, including hives, facial swelling, difficulty breathing and a severe reaction called anaphylactic shock. A person with a true food allergy experiences no reaction the first time he or she is exposed to a potential allergen. The allergic reaction occurs in later exposures to the allergen and generally increases in severity with each exposure. Food allergies can develop at any time, even after repeatedly consuming a food, although the onset of allergies is much more likely to happen in young children.
A person prone to severe allergic reactions can suffer an attack if even the most minute amount of allergen is present in a food or beverage. Most allergy sufferers know the foods and ingredients that trigger their particular allergic reactions. The Food and Drug Administration requires all pre-packaged foods to be clearly labeled. Carefully inspecting all food items, reading the list of ingredients and looking for allergen labels before consuming a food are the best ways to avoid contact with a potentially deadly allergen. People should also be familiar with the symptoms of an allergic reaction, so they can monitor themselves and their children.
Individuals with oral allergies to any of the above ingredients should take additional precautions around Halloween. Halloween parties and trick-or-treating can lead to contact with unfamiliar candies and treats. Determining if an allergen is present in a Halloween treat may be as easy as looking at the product package. In the case of a child’s trick-or-treat haul, an adult familiar with the child’s allergies should carefully examine all candy for information on allergens before allowing the child to even open the candy. If an item is found to contain allergens or is not labeled, the best course of action is to throw it out unopened. This is especially true of homemade treats or any unpackaged food of unknown origin. When it comes to dealing with food allergens, knowing what’s in the candy and treats is the best way to avoid an unplanned trip to the hospital brought on by Halloween candy allergies. If you think your child needs to get tested for an oral allergy, or needs a better food allergy treatment plan, come on in to Asthma and Allergy Associates! Dr. Nathan, Dr. Soteres and Dr. Webb are the best oral allergy specialists in town!