Keep your kid safe this Halloween: A How-To Guide

Halloween has never been my favourite. I’ve never liked dressing up in costume, even when I was little. I remember my sisters always use to have creative, DIY costumes that my mom would help them make weeks beforehand, but I just couldn’t care less. My mom use to have to coax me into wearing a costume to school so I wouldn’t be the only one in my class who wasn’t.

However there was once part of Halloween I was 100% on board with, looked forward too, and made plans for well in advance- trick-or-treating.

I grew up in a small town, so it was always a competition to see how long I could last collecting candy around the neighbourhoods before I got too cold and had to go back home. My sisters and I, and then my friends and I when I got older, would get our pillow cases ready, put on the warmest costume we could find, and set out on the town.

As I traveled from house to house, yelling “TRICK-OR-TREAT” at the doors, I would always pay close attention to what was being placed in my bag. I would count the number of full size chocolate bars I’d been given, and feel the disappointment every time I saw a brand I knew I couldn’t eat.

As soon as I got home, my parents would take my bag away from me.

I had three rules when out collecting candy:

  1. Always stay with the group, safety first
  2. Stay within my house’s side of town (you’d understand this one better if you knew where I was from)
  3. Do not eat anything

My parents would dumb the contents of my bag into a bowl and sort through it while I warmed up and took off my costume. I’d impatiently wait as they took out ever single item that a) had peanuts or nuts in it, b) may contained peanuts or nuts, or c) didn’t have an ingredients list.

By the time they were done, half of my candy was gone. My dad would keep it in a bag and take it to his work the next day. He would joke and call it “taxes” for him.

My parents would do this same process for my two sisters. Anything that could potentially be dangerous was removed out of the house.

This method might not work for everyone, but I definitely recommend it.

Even though your child has an allergy, they can still take part in trick-or-treating!

Just make sure you set the rules for your child: no eating anything while you’re out, and hand over the bag when you get home.

Peanut and nut allergy awareness is much higher than it use to be, so keep that in mind. The number of houses giving out chocolate with peanuts and nuts has definitely decreased since I was younger. Most houses would also be willing to give your child a different option if you tell them they have an allergy too.


One thought on “Keep your kid safe this Halloween: A How-To Guide

  1. Given the rise in nut allergies these days, I’m honestly surprised they still sell Hallowe’en treats with nuts in them for giving out at the door. Chances are really good you’ll get a kid at the door who can’t have what you’re giving out – “here’s a Hallowe’en letdown for you, kiddo!”

    Maybe we should start a campaign encouraging non-allergy-aware folks to consider this before they buy their big boxes of treats next fall.


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