Post-Halloween Patients: What to Expect


You’ve officially conquered this year’s Halloween, hopefully. The ghosts and ghouls are back in the closet and the skeletons have returned to their graves. However, it’s possible you’ll still experience a few frights walking into the doctor’s office, so make sure to be on the lookout for these ailments to make their way into your practice.

Food Allergens

The eight common food allergens responsible for 90% of reactions are milk, eggs, peanuts, soy, wheat, tree nuts, fish, and shellfish. Unfortunately, the majority of Halloween candy given out contains at least one of these eight allergens. While most parents are aware of these allergens, children pose a greater risk to having an allergic reaction.

These allergic reactions can range from a small rash, to anaphylactic shock. If a child is struck with the latter, it’s important to immediately use an epinephrine auto-injector. This will reduce the reaction and in many cases save the life of your Halloween patient.

Other tips to recommend to parents include:

  • Getting an accurate allergy diagnosis. If the parents don’t know what to look for, they won’t know when their child could be in danger.
  • Make sure they notify those handing out candy so they can see if they have any non-allergen candy. Some of these candies include Skittles, Starburst, and Swedish Fish.
  • Have parents check labels on candy before your child begins eating. This will allow parents to screen the candy before kids can indulge.

Diabetes

Just like salt and pepper, or peanut butter and jelly, kids and candy go hand in hand. Unfortunately, with the rising rate of childhood diabetes, you might be seeing a few Halloween patients who’ve had too much sugar.

Those dealing with diabetes are at risk of having too much sugar in their system. If this is the case, your patient could have a variety of symptoms including trembling, extremely high or low blood pressure, and blurry vision. If so, it’s important to regulate their blood sugar.

Recommend to parents that they monitor the amount of candy their child is consuming in one sitting. Too much sugar can lead to sugar spikes or even a diabetic attack. Halloween should be scary, but not life-threatening scary.

Scrapes and Bruises

Around this time things will most likely go bump in the night, and unfortunately, some of those bumps will come from your patients. Whether it’s a child tripping while trying to hit those last few houses before curfew, or falling off their top bunk after a sugar rush, you can expect a few Halloween patients with some bumps and bruises.

Make sure to remind patients that while Halloween can be a night of fun, it’s also important to keep safety in mind.

Author: Troy Diffenderfer

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