Halloween Candy and Eczema
When it comes to children’s favorite holidays, Halloween is easily in the top three. What isn’t to love? You get to wear a costume and run around demanding candy from people! Every child deserves to have a fantastic time during Halloween, but it can be a little more difficult for an eczema child. When there are triggers hanging in the air like spooky ghosts, you need to be prepared to take a few extra steps to guarantee your kid’s safety and give them the best Halloween possible.
Last week, we had a blog talking about the best Halloween costumes for children with eczema. This week, we are talking about candy! Coming home with a huge haul of candy can make a kid’s year, but both of you need to be careful that they don’t come into contact with any potential eczema triggers in the bag. There are a number of ways that you can minimize exposure risk, depending on the severity of your child’s eczema.
If they generally have mild eczema with few triggers, the steps you need to take can be minimal. After their successful outing and before they dive into the new candy stash, go through it and remove any candy that could potentially cause an eczema flare-up. If you are unsure about a treat, go online to find an ingredient list. If you feel uncertain about any of the candy, you should just remove it. Better to be safe than sorry.
If your child’s eczema is a little more severe, you will have to do a little more work. First, make sure they are wearing eczema treatment gloves while they are trick-or-treating. This will minimize any risk of skin exposure as they are handling the candy.
If you have a younger child, an excellent plan might be to have a bag of eczema-safe treats sitting at home that you can “switch out” with the bag of candy they just collected. This might seem a bit dishonest, but it is a way to preserve the magic of Halloween while still keeping them safe from potential trigger exposure.
If you have an older child who would immediately recognize the “decoy candy,” you might need to sit them down prior to trick-or-treating to explain the situation. Tell them that the candy that they collect while trick-or-treating might not be safe for them to eat because of their eczema, then make a deal with them. If you can afford to, tell them that you will replace their candy haul with an equal amount of eczema-safe candy and treats. That way, they won’t feel at all shortchanged and will still be safe from a flare-up. As for getting rid of the unsafe candy, that is entirely up to you. We recommend that you take it all to work the next day and instantly become the most popular person in the office.
If your child has a major case of eczema and it isn’t safe for them to go trick-or-treating at all, you could plan a fun Halloween at home. Prepare eczema-safe Halloween treats for them to enjoy. Maybe give some of these treats to family or friends beforehand, so they can “stop by” and put them in your child’s trick or treat bag. If your child can’t go out for Halloween, just bring Halloween to them!
Despite your precautions, your eczema child might still be exposed to an eczema trigger. If this is the case, go through your usual eczema treatment routine, which could include applying ointments or creams, wet or dry wrap therapy, and putting them into an eczema rescue suit.
Regardless of the severity of your child’s eczema, we hope that you and they have a safe and fun Halloween!