By Michelle Durham
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Halloween is a time honored tradition in many Delaware Valley neighborhoods, but for children with nut allergies, it can be a difficult holiday to navigate, especially if there are no treats for them to eat.
Luckily, two local experts offer sage advice on what you can serve them.
It’s very important that you know what you are placing in the bags of trick or treaters who appear on your doorstep, advises Dr. Christopher Chang, Director of the Division of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology in the Department of Pediatrics at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital.
“There are some precautions we recommend for kids with nut allergies: Don’t actually handle the treats. Take them home and have your parents go through them,” Dr. Chang says.
Dr. Chang also recommends kids with allergies wear gloves, so the treats don’t come into contact with their skin.
And if you are handing out treats, what can you safely give a child with a nut allergy?
Emily Rubin, a Registered Dietician at Jefferson, says you can pass out a plethora of different candies, like, “Dots, Good and Plenty, Tootsie Pops and Tootsie Rolls. There’s also the Skittles, Smarties, the Sour Patch Kids, Starburst…”
Looking at the label goes a long way, too. The ingredients may not be on the individual packages you pass out, but they will be on the larger bag you purchased.
Remember, that also includes pretzels, because there are some made in factories that also use nut products.