Thoughts: {Halloween…}

Halloween is upon us and I have a love/hate relationship with this evening. I met my husband at a Halloween party many  years ago, so that’s cool. However, Halloween can be a very stressful evening for me. You wonder why? My boys are allergic to peanuts, tree nuts and sesame seeds. When I first found out the allergy results for each boy, I told to myself : “What is the big deal?

I will just avoid all nuts and it will be fine”. I took this approach for a while until two scary incidents occurred.

My oldest son loved a cereal that was made in a facility that also processes peanuts and tree nuts.I used to buy it anyway, thinking, “What could happen? Is not that it HAS nuts”. WRONG.

One morning after eating this cereal, he started coughing out of nowhere. I mean not just mildly coughing but coughing pretty hard without relief. I immediately knew something was not right and gave him two puffs of Albuterol and Benadryl. The cough subsided and he went about his normal day while I threw away the cereal in question and never, ever bought anything made in a facility that handles nuts.

The second episode happened to my second son who at the time was two. He ate a chocolate peanut butter candy by accident at a party and had a bad allergic reaction. I had to call 911, ride an ambulance and do the Epipen while he was hysterical! The Epipen did it’s job while we got to the hospital. But once at the hospital, he started having a second anaphylactic shock. His little body started to get covered with more hives and he was struggling to breath. The doctors reacted fast and put an IV and administered a second dose of epinephrine. Once my little guy was stable the doctors had us stay overnight at the hospital and make sure he could breathe well. We slept together in a single hospital bed and although
I was freaked out by the whole incident, I was super thankful my little guy was sleeping calmly and I could snuggle up to his enormous, squishy cheeks.

Sooo, going back to Halloween, we all go trick or treating and many well-intentioned families give out delicious peanut butter cups and other candy bars with nuts. I have trained the boys to say thank you and move on to another house. They are both 9 and 6 and having self-control is something that they’ve had to learn at a very young age. Now I still never let my guard down, I remind them of what could happen if they eat a candy I haven’t approved of so they know very well not to eat ANY candy until we get back home from trick or treating.  At the end of the evening,
I meticulously go through their candy and throw away any candy that has nuts and any other candy manufactured at a facility that process nuts. Then, I will replace the dangerous candy with safe candy free of nuts.

I’ve put together a brief list of safe candy for families with nut allergies. Maybe you know someone with a nut allergy or you are going to send candy to your school. The list below might become handy for you and your family. Please this is only a GUIDE. If you or someone in your family has nut allergies or is gluten intolerant or any other allergy, please always check the labels and make the wisest choice for you and your family. Thank you for reading! As always I love your comments and thoughts!

List:

Yummy Earth Lollipops
Surf Sweets Gummi Bears
Surf Sweets Scary Spiders
Enjoy Life Dark Chocolate
Annie’s Organic Bunny Fruit Snacks
Skittles – (All varieties)
Smarties
Sour Patch Kids
Starburst
Tootsie Pops
Tootsie Rolls
Twizzlers

There are more safe foods for tree nut, peanut allergic people on this list: Finally, this website is a great resource for families and schools: “Snack Safely”.

Thank you for reading and have a safe and happy Halloween!

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3 Comments

  1. JaneEllen
    2016/10/20 / 3:42 am

    After so many years am recalling my oldest boy having asthma attacks before age two and now am wondering if perhaps he had eaten something he was allergic to. This is over 50 yrs. ago when very little to nothing was known about food allergies. Oldest son will be 54 in Dec. He still has allergies but as far as I know asthma has left him pretty much at this point in his life.Or if like me he has asthma attack brought on by allergy attack.
    How terrified you must have been for your little guys. How do you feel about honcho of co. that makes epipens hiking up price to intolerable level? How cruel in the name of greed.
    So glad you found out in time to take care of your boys. I can remember rushing oldest boy to hospital several times for shots to ease his asthma attacks from before he was 2 yrs. old. Food allergies is very serious condition that parents and doctors have to be aware of and educated about.Can sure see how Halloween would be a day of concern for you.

    Have wonderful rest of week and weekend

    • 2016/10/22 / 3:04 am

      Hello Jane Ellen! Yes, food allergies are awful and I can’t believe what the CEO of the Epipen company did to make a profit. Regarding food allergies, they are related with asthma, and can trigger an asthma attack. It did for me when I was around cats, before I started doing allergy shots. I hope to start an immunotherapy trial with my boys so they are not as allergic as they are with their nut/peanut allergies. Thank your for stopping by :) XO Ursula

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