Halloween Can be a Nightmare for Kids with Health Concerns

4 years ago

Saturday Night Live summed up the relationship between kids and candy in a single line in this week's episode.  When Edward Norton asks the students what they should do if a stranger in a van offers them candy, the student replies: "Whatever it takes to get that candy!"

So Halloween -- best night of the year for some kids since they're given carte blanche to collect as much sugar as humanly possible.  But for other kids, Halloween is a total nightmare.

The traditional candy selection is difficult to impossible to navigate for those with corn or nut allergies.  Those that need to watch their sugar intake get offered as a treat something they can't consume.  And the excitement of Halloween is never contained to a single night; as kids devour their Halloween loot, hurt feelings about Halloween are relived over and over again.

Parents are left in a position to walk a fine line between allowing their kid to participate in the holiday while still keeping their child safe.  Do they allow them to trick-or-treat and then turn over the candy for donation?  Do they take them to a Halloween parade and party, bypassing the collection of candy door-to-door?  Do they pass out non-edible items such as stickers or pencils to drop the idea in other people's minds that there are treats other than candy that can be passed out on Halloween?  Or do they skip the holiday altogether, choosing to do a non-Halloween related activity on October 31st?

We'd love to collect your ideas here for use by other parents tonight or in the future who need to navigate a holiday with a child that can't participate in the festivities due to a health issue.  Let us know how your family is approaching Halloween.

Image: Jamal Fanaian via Flickr

Melissa writes Stirrup Queens and Lost and Found. Her novel about blogging is Life from Scratch.

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