News Video | Policy | GPs | Hospitals | Medical | Mental Health | Welfare | Search


Lots of Tricks but Not Many Treats

Lots of Tricks but Not Many Treats for Children with Food Allergies

Halloween can be a tricky time without many treats for the hundreds of children that suffer from food allergies. Hidden inside that delicious looking treat could be an ingredient that could trigger a potentially life-threatening allergic reaction.

Tasha Kuypers, aged eleven, is allergic to peanut and soy and says she won’t be eating any lollies this Halloween because she doesn’t feel safe, even if the lollies are wrapped.

“I don’t feel left out because the fun of Halloween is dressing up and hanging out with friends,” she says. “My friends completely understand about my food allergies and are really good about it.”

Parents of children with food allergies need to be inventive to come up with different treats to keep their children happy and safe. “Trade banks” where allergen- containing sweets can be traded for other treats, such as stickers or toys, are a great idea. Home made goodies free from allergens are another good idea to keep children safe.

Vigilance in checking treat bags is essential to ensure treats without ingredient labels can be discarded and the ones with labels can be checked for safety. It is important to note that ingredients can vary between different sizes of the same product – such as full-size candy bars and their miniature versions, which are not always labeled individually.

Symptoms of an allergic reaction can include hives; eczema; swelling of the lips, tongue, face and other parts of the body; shortness of breath; wheezing; abdominal pain; vomiting; diarrhoea; hay fever symptoms; and anaphylaxis – a life-threatening reaction requiring emergency treatment and hospital care. Sufferers often carry a life-saving injection of adrenaline (e.g., EpiPen) with them at all times.

Allergy New Zealand urges children and teens with severe allergies to watch out for hidden foods that could trigger an allergic reaction, and to carry an epinephrine (adrenaline) Epi-Pen with them at all times.

Eight foods account for 90 percent of allergic reactions: peanuts, tree nuts (walnuts, almonds, cashews, pistachios, pecans etc), fish, shellfish, eggs, milk, soy and wheat. For people with severe food allergies, eating even a small amount of these foods could start a life-threatening reaction.

© Scoop Media

Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines


Howard Davis: Emerald Fennell's Promising Young Woman'

The Guardian needed not one, but three reviews to do justice to Fennell's unsettling approach, which indicates exactly how ambiguous and controversial its message really is. More>>

Howard Davis: Jill Trevelyan's Rita Angus

Although Angus has become one of Aotearoa’s best-loved painters, the story of her life remained little known and poorly understood before Jill Trevelyan's acclaimed and revelatory biography, which won the Non Fiction Award at the Montana New Zealand Book Awards in 2009, and has now been republished by Te Papa press. More>>

Howard Davis: The Back of the Painting

Painting conservators are the forensic pathologists of the art world. While they cannot bring their subjects back to life, they do provide fascinating insights into the precise circumstances of a painting's creation, its material authenticity, and constructive methodology. More>>

Howard Davis: Black Panthers on the Prowl

A passionate and gripping political drama from Shaka King, this is an informative and instructive tale of human frailty that centers around the charismatic Chicago Black Panther leader Fred Hampton, who was murdered at the age of twenty-one during a police raid. More>>

Howard Davis: Controlling the High Ground

Stephen Johnson's raw and angry film not only poses important questions with scrupulous authenticity, but also provides a timely reminder of the genocidal consequences of casual bigotry and xenophobia. More>>

Howard Davis: Dryzabone - Robert Conolly's The Dry

After the terrible devastation caused by last year’s bushfires, which prompted hundreds of Australians to shelter in the ocean to escape incineration and destroyed uncountable amounts of wildlife, The Dry has been released during a totally different kind of dry spell. More>>

Howard Davis: Hit the Road, Jack - Chloé Zhao's Nomadland

Nomadland is perhaps the ultimately 'road' movie as it follows a group of dispossessed and disenfranchised vagabonds who find a form of communal refuge in camp sites and trailer parks after the economic contraction of 2008. More>>



  • Wellington
  • Christchurch
  • Auckland