(NC)—Halloween is often named one of the most exciting and fun-filled nights of the year, but for many parents, the evening also comes with anxiety about their children’s safety. As a mom of a child with severe food allergies, Erica Ehm is very familiar with the struggle many parents face on Halloween.
“For years when we were trick-or-treating, my son would walk ahead of my daughter and announce to every homeowner that his sister has food allergies, as a way of protecting her before collecting their candy,” Ehm explained. “It can be a nerve-wracking night because you never know what your child may come into contact with, but you also want them to experience the joy of getting dressed up and trick-or-treating.”
According to Anaphylaxis Canada, one in two Canadians know someone with a serious food allergy and a peanut allergy affects about two in 100 children (www.anaphylaxis.ca). So naturally, Halloween can be especially daunting given the amount of food that is passed out and potentially in contact with someone who is allergic.
To help ease concern and let kids focus on having fun, this year, Nestlé is asking Canadians to “Paint the Town Red” to let children and parents know that the treats they are handing out are made in a peanut-free facility. To get involved, look for the iconic red Nestlé Assorted box, filled with snack size Kit Kat, Aero, Smarties and Coffee Crisp bars. Place the box where it is visible to trick-or-treaters so they can recognize that you are handing out treats made in a peanut-free facility. You can even get your whole neighbourhood involved with the program. Visit YummyMummyClub.ca and if you make a pledge to provide treats made in a peanut-free facility, your name will be entered into a contest to win a supply of Nestlé Assorted for your entire street – up to 50 households.
Erica Ehm points out the value of getting the whole neighbourhood involved to make Halloween fun and safe for all children.
“Imagine the fun kids will have scoring the treats they know and love at every home,” she says. “But also knowing that the red box is committed to providing a safe product for my daughter—and one that she already loves to eat – means such a lot to me. I hope every house participates.”