Halloween was one of those holidays that I was worried about, concerned that it would be potential dangerous for DJ, and that he wouldn’t be able to participate as fully as other kids. I’m happy to report that I couldn’t have been more wrong. After debating different strategies, my husband and I decided that we would let DJ Trick-or-Treat and would simply go through his candy stash and eliminate any potentially dangerous treats. Since he’s not quite old enough to understand why some of his candy would be taken away, we would do it while keeping him distracted. Sounds simple enough since that’s something we would be doing even if he didn’t have PA. Still, we were both a bit leery. Of course, we carried both his epi-pens and didn’t let him eat candy until we got home.
We’ve been in our neighborhood for about ten years now, and are well acquainted with our neighbors. We’ve been diligent about telling them about DJ’s allergy, asking them to never offer him food without our consent so we could clear it for safety. I couldn’t have been more grateful that more than 95% of those that knew about his allergy made a specific point of purchasing peanut free candy so that he could safely partake; nearly everyone showed me what went into his bag before dropping it in, and told me about its contents. One neighbor was even kind enough to buy him a Halloween book in the event we were too nervous to let him have any candy at all. Of course, we thoroughly checked everything out at home.
Out of 60 pieces collected, 47 were safe. Of the 13 remaining pieces, five were no-brand name sugary candies with no labels, and three were chocolate bars with the ‘may contain’ warning. Only three contained actual nuts. The other five were brand-name candies with no ingredients label. And for that I say shame on you Skittles and Starburst; if you’re selling candies in Halloween size format get on board with your peers and start labeling your candy properly!
Anyways, it was really a relief to see that DJ’s Halloween fun was not hampered in any way and neither was his safety. While he may resent having to hand over 20% of his candy when the night becomes more about a candy grab, we’ll develop some sort of trade-off strategy to deal with that when the time comes.
In the meantime, a shout out to our neighbors who helped make the evening a great one by keeping his allergy in mind when buying their candy.