Health Watch — Halloween: Peanut Allergies

Health Watch is a Public Service of the Office of News and Publications  and is intended to provide general information only and should not replace the advice of a medical professional. You should contact your physician if you have questions about any of these topics.

This week on Health Watch, we’re talking about getting ready for Halloween and other fall festivals. This is a big time of year for candy, and that means people with peanut allergies have to be especially careful because so many treats include peanuts.

Dr. David Khan, an allergist at UT Southwestern Medical Center, says parents of children with peanut allergies must read the labels on treats before children eat them to make sure they don’t contain peanuts or peanut-related products. Peanuts are a common source of food allergy and can even cause a fatal reaction if they’re eaten by someone who is allergic. In addition to peanuts on the ingredient list, look for peanut butter, mixed nuts, peanut oil or peanut flour. If the fun-sized treats given out at Halloween don’t have an ingredient list, you can usually find a list and allergy warnings on the company’s web site. When you’re handing out candy, consider having a peanut-free option for kids with allergies.

Visit to learn more about UT Southwestern’s clinical services in allergy.


October 2008

Health Watch is heard Monday through Friday nationwide on ABC Satellite Radio. Call your local radio station and ask if they carry the program.