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Halloween Rules for Kids and Adults with Diabetes.

Halloween DOES rule!!  It’s fun and gives people the opportunity to make costumes, hang out with friends and family, and collect some tasty treats and …

Wait, you thought there would be rules?  Like actual rules to enjoying Halloween?

There aren’t any set rules to doing the whole Halloween-and-diabetes thing.  Back when I was a kid with diabetes (we went trick or treating, uphill both ways), I had the same, normal experiences as my friends, with a few unique moments built in (like that time the cops rolled up on us) and a few more blood sugar checks than average.  Sugar-free candy wasn’t the most appealing option (mostly because it brought about an uncomfortable gastrointestinal concern), so I snacked on the same stuff my friends were eating.

As with most things when I was a little kid, my mom worried for me.  So while she was sniffing my breath for the telltale signs of candy bars, she was also checking my blood sugar and making the necessary corrections, and I continued on, doing the kid thing.  (Thanks, Mom.)  It wasn’t until I was older and going out trick-or-treating with my friends did I start making decisions – good and not-so-good – on my own in terms of diabetes.

The “rules?”  Why should there be rules that make this holiday less fun?  There’s more to Halloween than candy.  Have fun – laugh and play with friends and family and kick piles of leaves and sport excellent costumes.  Be safe – wear glow bracelets to keep you visible in the dark, and test your blood sugar often to make sure you aren’t going low from all the walking/high from all the snacking.  (And maybe go easy on the sugar-free candy, unless you happen to be trick-or-treating in a neighborhood with TP’d houses … if you know what I mean.)

Of all the things to be spooked by on Halloween, don’t let diabetes be one of them.

Halloween rules!!!!!

8 Comments Post a comment
  1. The Halloween after I turned 5, having just been diagnosed with Type 1 three weeks prior, my friend I was trick-or-treating with would tell people when they opened the door “She has diabetes! She can’t eat candy!”

    He was just being nice, but it was the actual worst thing ever. Most people gave me money, which I would appreciate now as an adult, but what 5-year-old wants money for Halloween??

    10/31/13; 11:59 am
  2. Great post however I’m laughing that my post today was about selling my Halloween candy and it being the start of my entrepreneurial adventures… I love that there’s a comment above about being given money. I would have been all over that! Happy Halloween Kerri (glad you didn’t miss out on Halloween either)! xo

    10/31/13; 12:10 pm
  3. Cynthia Boisvert #

    Briley was diagnosed at 3 years old, in 1989. Initially getting candy was not an issue. IE she was so young, had no clue how much she received etc. But in grade school things had to change. We were lucky enough to be involved with a monthly diabetes support group. The children would go off to do a fun activity and parents met and discussed many things. It was there we learned to let her go trick or treating and get all she wanted. No candy was eaten by any of the kids as it all had to be checked by parents anyway.- safety Briley would then go thru the candy. There were items that she could have regardless – bags of goldfish, etc. She was then allowed to have one or 2 candy bars that would not normally be on her eating list. We would portion those out in her diet as a carb, fruit, fat, however it would work. Boy did she eat all her vegetables at those meals! Then the fun began. Briley’s dad would purchase the remaining candy from her. This was quite a process. They divided the candy into small, medium, large, chocolate, caramel, etc, and favorites. For the most part they would agree on a set price for small etc. But they would go round and round on the value of a full size snickers bar, M &M’s, Chuckles, etc. For the most part Briley won those arguments. That week-end the two of them would go shopping wherever Briley wanted to buy items with her cash. This process turned Halloween from a holiday of “I can’t eat all the candy,” to “I can eat some of the candy, beat daddy at negotiations, and go shopping with him.”

    11/1/13; 8:25 am
  4. June S. #

    Since I only have Type I diabetes (and not celiac disease) I used to eat candy when I was a kid, and take insulin to cover it. However, I have a friend whose child was recently diagnosed with Type I and celiac disease. Halloween is not very kind to kids with both diagnoses, and I have read that 10% of children with Type I also have celiac disease. 🙁

    11/1/13; 9:02 am
    • Tim Easterling #

      My son is 5 years old and has Celiac disease. He has been diabetic for three years now and Celiac for one year. He went trick or treating last night just as he always does. So excited all week to go. He was a blue ninja. Everything seems normal just as in Kerri’s story except after running to every house for the first 30 min his blood sugar crashed (43). We open his bag and find candy that he can have right away and open the box and eat the whole thing. Grab his pump and turn it off and sat in the rain for ten minutes before moving on. After that he told me he was done and he just wanted to go home. We got home and he has two more small candy bars. and hour later we turn his pump back on and check him 144. Emergency over!!!!

      Halloween has to be the worst for us. He gets all of this candy. The first thing we have to do is not only go through it for safety but we have to sort it to see if it has gluten. You have to love the candy makers that say this size candy bar is but this size is not as if Celiac is not hard enough. I sometimes hate it more than diabetes. Now we have sorted candy and he starts complaining about the candy that he can not keep. We have a trade in program for him so he can trade in the candy that he can not have for the candy he can have. Takes care of the Celiac now for the diabetes. For the next few weeks and months we have to look up how many carbs are in each piece of candy.

      11/1/13; 11:20 am
  5. Katie S. #

    When I was a kid my local JDRF chapter had a monthly support group for parents and kids. Of course every October they had a Halloween party. They used to try to encourge us to go trick or treating and, instead of candy, collect donations for JDRF. They had cans with the logo on them that you could take home from the party. Even then I remember thinking “man, I really feel bad for the kids whose parents make them do that!” I’m all for advocacy and donating to JDRF, but come on! Glad my parents never took one home!

    11/1/13; 9:17 am
  6. Katie S. #

    Also, when I used to sneak pieces of candy after Halloween, I used to wrap the empty wrappers in paper towels before throwing them away so my mom wouldn’t see them in the trash can!

    11/1/13; 9:22 am

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