The holiday season means so many happy things, like vacation, family reunions, eating some of the most favorite food of the year, board games, traveling and making memories, that talking about ‘surviving the holidays’ may seem unfair.
The season comes and takes the summer away by telling us that we are supposed to wear “no white after Labor Day” and suddenly it’s all about Halloween.
We have tried to put some order in this otherwise overwhelming Halloween craze.
First of all, let us confess that we like decorating, choosing costumes, getting dressed up, trick or treating and waiting for children to show up at the doorstep.
However, the season is not only that.
This is why we have been searching for ideas on activities to do with our families other than the ones that involve preparations for the night of October 31st.
you may think: “Mind-blowing revolutionary idea!” But what about opting for a trip to a local brick and mortar book store and look for Halloween themed cute stories? It can be the equivalent of adapting the reading to the season, same way as adults we follow seasonal sports or buy the current best sellers. Remember that whether you celebrate or not, Halloween is in the air and it’s a conversation starter even in kindergarten. Look at it this way: it’s an allergy-friendly activity. 
A dream for parents of small children and truly, with children suffering from allergies or asthma, staying indoor is more than a simple choice. So how about origami, the Japanese art of folding colored paper and creating shapes of animals or everyday items? Or, building trees with buttons as leaves, it has trees and leaves as children are learning in school about the seasonal foliage, it’s still a seasonal activity and no risks of sneezing. Here are some instructions.
Temperatures have calmed down and even if we encounter the usual rainy cloud, rain-boots and seeking shelter under a porch momentarily will be compensated by fresher air. It’s a family bonding experience that will leave cemented memories for generations to come.
If you have environmental allergies you may want to be prepared for sun, dust, grasses, bring Epinephrine auto-injector, insect stings repellant sprays and creams.
In Florida they are of course indoor (although we hear that there are some built outdoor just for a short period of time) but they are the best excuse to wear some snow gear, scarf, beanies & gloves. You may end up with a couple of extra bruises if you are not really a pro at skating but it will provide an extraordinary experience.
Make it a family affair, if there is a story behind each costume, each character/family member will feel the part. When it comes to trick or treating in the neighborhood follow all rules and suggestions to make it safe and fun.
Allergies to watch out for: READ this blog post.
Scared of the trip to Disney? Here are 3 reasons why you should take advantage: Florida-residents discounts are a perk; it’s not as crowded as in other holiday-times throughout the year; you are going to have the time of your life watching your kiddos having the time of their life. Win-win situation!
Who’s excited about trick-or-treating? RAISE YOUR HANDS!
Who has the Jack O’ Lantern ready? CLAP YOUR HANDS!
We don’t mean to ruin the excitement of choosing the character to impersonate for Halloween, but we warmly suggest parents to read the fabric composition of the costumes. We all know how expensive they can be, but a visit to the ER with a child who cannot breathe doesn’t have a price tag on it and needs to be avoided. Direct contact with nickel, metals, synthetic fibers, latex may cause discomfort and reactions such as contact dermatitis. Just coming in contact with any of these ‘offenders’ may provoke itchy skin and culminate into difficulties with breathing. 
If you keep costumes, masks, Halloween decorations such as haunted houses stored  year to year, make sure you reverse them and wash them thoroughly before using them. “The bigger the exposure to dust is, the more chances of allergy and asthma episodes for patients. Let the kids be kids and enjoy the excitement of running, jumping and playing with friends outside, just don’t forget the inhaler, epinephrine injections and antihistamines before leaving the house”, says our very own Dr. Sharlene Llanes.
Isn’t that the main reason why children are excited to wear them? If they are full masks though, they can interfere with breathing and asthma episodes can flare up. Running from house to house trick-or-treating exposes children to sudden changes in temperature in South Florida, from air conditioned homes to street’s dust, puddles and heat. If you are asthmatic opt for half masks to be safe. Speaking of masks, look at the one we made for you below… and … this one even gives you the opportunity to win an awesome prize!
We have designed a pumpkin mask for all to print for free, decorate and wear. If you follow our #SpookyFCAAAC contest instructions and share your decorated mask with us on Instagram from October 21st thru October 31st, you can be eligible to win our grand prize and get to swim with the dolphins. Winning mask will be announced on November 4th through our social media channels. Stay tuned!
Body paints are always a fun activity and alternative to wearing a mask. However, some precautions must be taken:
* Read directions – IMPORTANT: don’t use body product on face.
* Check ingredients and make sure the color additives are FDA approved .
* If you’re decorating your skin with something you’ve never used before, the allergist suggests to apply a dab of it on your arm for a couple of days to check for an allergic reaction BEFORE you put it on your face.
* Don’t use luminescent or fluorescent paint near your eyes.
* Gently remove paint/make-up following the instructions and using the correct products.
A Jack O’ Lantern needs to be spooky and scary, but not send us to the doctor. Pumpkin allergy is indeed a rare one, but we can never be too cautious when it comes to allergies and/or asthma. Carefully read the labels of all edible treats before eating.
Read more of what we suggest to ensure a fun and safe Halloween experience this year.
1. The “At Least One” Tip: 1 parent (or guardian), 1 cell phone and 1 packet of hand wipes.
2. The “Must” Tip: carry Epinephrine at all times if you suffer from severe allergies.
3. The “No Thank You” Tip: never be ashamed or feel silly for saying “no thank you” when offered an item you know is not safe.
(…look for free bonus further down this post…)
4. The “Substitute” Tip: here’s a list of items to give out other than candies: coloring pencils, stickers, plastic jewelry or mini toys, art supplies.
5. The “Stomach Full” Tip: eat dinner before trick-or-treating so that your child(ren) will not be tempted to eat every candy in sight.
6. The “Trick-Or-Trade” Tip: have your child trade the candy collected for a wrapped gift and donate the candy instead. Trade safe for unsafe candies when back home.
7. The “Be Prepared” Tip: consider buying some allergy-free treats to give out to your neighbors.
8. The “No Way Jose” Tip: never have your child eat any treats before having read all the labels.
9. The “Think Outside the Box” Tip: instead of heading out door-to-door looking for candy, plan a different and fun activity for your kids (like a scavenger hunt where they can find allergy-safe treats)
(….and now the FREE BONUS we promised you!)
Click here to download the FREE STICKERS we have created for you. Use them profusely on your costume, lunch box, school bag, etc…. We know you are well aware of your kids’ allergies and how to keep them safe, but we want everyone your kid might come in contact with to also be mindful . These stickers will come in very handy in alerting people what items are NOT SAFE for your child(ren).
Because we’ve all been there…you come home after a full day of candy-infused activities and now your home looks like a giant piñata just broke open. Well here are 4 GAMES to manage all those treats: