CAPE GIRARDEAU, MO (KFVS) - Trick-or-treating is underway in some communities Thursday night. Many kids will have candy for weeks to come, but some parents have to keep an extra close eye on what's in their child's candy bag.
Allergists say Halloween can be very dangerous for kids with food allergies because it can be hard for parents to keep track of every piece of candy.
Leslie Durr's son Copper has severe food allergies.
"The kids don't even take the candy out of a bowl," Durr said. "We hold their bag open. If it is someone that wants us to reach into the bowl, we get it for them because with Cooper especially just contact of the food is enough to injure or hurt him or be life threatening."
Cooper is in the 3rd grade. Durr says her son might miss out on some of the treats other kids get, but certainly not any of the fun.
"We make them special snacks and treats for at home," Durr said. "We buy them a special present like a Halloween movie or something to supplement for the treats. We will pass along their treats to somebody else."
Dr. Janna Tuck says this time of year can be scary for parents of children with allergies.
"Halloween is quite dangerous for them because socially they'd like to do what the rest of the kids do. They like to go trick-or-treating, but it's very hard when they are so excited to keep them from eating something they shouldn't."
Dr. Tuck says parents have to check the label on every piece of candy.
"It's particularly problematic with all the chocolate candies because they are frequently contaminated and the package says 'may contain peanuts or tree nuts.' Those children have to avoid those as well because you don't know how much is contained in the candy," Dr. Tuck said.
Cooper still gets to celebrate with his friends, only a little differently.
"We enjoy all of it," Durr said. "We hand out at our house but we hand out safe things. We hand out school supplies, toys, stuff like that to be aware of other children who may have the same issues or intolerances."
The Durr family asks others to consider kids just like Cooper this Halloween.
"I'm in no way wanting to say stop candy. We give some treats as well but just we mindful of the other children," Durr said. "I urge parents to ask your teachers in your classrooms if there are kids in their classroom that have allergies or have special needs, maybe are diabetic or a dietary issue, and try to accommodate and do the best you can for everybody."
Dr. Tuck also says this time of year is a good time to look out for allergies with your kids.
"Too many parents say, you know, they told me, in retrospect, they told me that made their mouth itchy or their throat itch or their tummy feel funny. You should pay attention to that. When they say that with a candy, something they really want, then you have to think about that and be careful when they eat it in the future to see if they have more symptoms."