Friday, October 29, 2010

Be Neighborly This Halloween – Respect Every Bite!

“While Halloween has grown into a day that most children look forward to all year, it can be quite scary for those with food allergies, and not because of ghosts and goblins”

(BUSINESS WIRE)--Millions of costumed children will be gleefully knocking on doors this Halloween expectantly waiting for candy to be dropped into their trick-or-treat bags. For approximately 4 percent of children in the U.S. with food allergies, those treats could contain ingredients harmful to them.

FAAN (the Food Allergy & Anaphylaxis Network) urges residents to be mindful of the safety measures that children with food allergies must take on Halloween and every day. Many sweet treats contain at least one of the top eight allergens. As FAAN has emphasized throughout the year with the 2010 theme, “Respect Every Bite,” it’s important for individuals with food allergies to protect themselves and for those without food allergies to remember that certain ingredients can be potentially life-threatening for others.

While many parents of children with food allergies prepare for this day by keeping safe candies on hand for trading, others might want to consider offering non-food treats as an alternative for trick-or-treaters this Halloween. Inexpensive options include Halloween stickers, pencils, and erasers, as well as small toys.

“While Halloween has grown into a day that most children look forward to all year, it can be quite scary for those with food allergies, and not because of ghosts and goblins,” said FAAN CEO Julia Bradsher. “Children with food allergies need your help preventing allergic reactions.”

FAAN offers a safe alternative by way of its annual Trick-or-Treat for Food Allergy program. Anyone can sign up at www.foodallergyevents.org for a special Trick-or-Treat bag that can be used to collect funds for food allergy research, education, awareness, and advocacy programs. It’s a great way to take the worry out of collecting potentially unsafe treats, while earning prizes. This program was made possible by Abbott Nutrition, maker of EleCare®.

For parents of children with food allergies who do plan on trick-or-treating for candy, remember to check the ingredient labels (even if your child has eaten the product before, as companies can reformulate recipes), and to remind your child not to eat any candy that has not been checked by a trusted adult.

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