Teens with allergies and asthma can enjoy Halloween as long as they take precautions, an allergist says.
“There’s no reason a teen with allergies should have to miss anything,” said Dr. Bradley Chipps, president of the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology. Teens usually know the drill when it comes to handling their food allergies, seasonal allergies or asthma, he said.
“Providing your teen with common-sense guidelines regarding what they can eat and what they need to steer clear of means they can join the fun and be wheeze and sneeze-free,” Chipps said in a college news release.
At Halloween parties, teens with asthma should avoid cigarette smoke, smoke machines, bonfires and fireworks, and should carry their rescue inhaler in case accidental exposure to smoke triggers wheezing or other asthma symptoms.
Allergen information is not available for many Halloween treats and foods served at Halloween parties, which can put teens with food allergies at risk. These teens should take their own safe treats to parties, Chipps said.
Teens with food allergies may also want to host their own party so they have control over what’s being served.
Smoke and food aren’t the only holiday threats. Some Halloween makeup contains ingredients that cause allergic reactions, especially for teens with eczema or other allergic skin conditions. Try to find high-quality hypoallergenic makeup and test any makeup on a small patch of skin first to see if there’s any reaction, Chipps said.
If a teen is allergic to latex, make sure to check for it when choosing a costume or mask.
Teens with asthma should always carry needed medications, including their rescue inhaler. Those with a food allergy should always have two epinephrine auto-injectors and their cellphone in case an emergency arises.
These teens should also make sure that their friends know about their allergies or asthma so they can help if a reaction occurs, Chipps said.
The American Academy of Pediatrics has more on allergies and asthma.