Children with Acid Reflux and Trick or Treating

Tracy Davenport, Ph.D. Health Guide
  • Our producer at the HealthCentral Network recently sent an email to the acid reflux experts asking if anyone would be interested in writing a SharePost about trick or treating. I wrote back to let her know that I wouldn't be able to write about trick or treating, because our family had decided to opt out of the trick or treat ritual this year due to my son's acid reflux. Wise as usual, the producer wrote back that many families may be in the same position, or at least weighing their options. So for those of you deciding on whether or not you should take a child with acid reflux trick or treating, here is what we have experienced, and why we are skipping the tradition this year.

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    Our son is six, and for the last 5 years, we have bought the adorable costume and taken him out trick or treating with his older brother. Because our son with acid reflux also has food allergies, he has never been able to eat any of his "treats." Instead, when he comes home, we have had a pile of substitute treats that he can trade in for the treats he gathered trick or treating.


    Don't get me wrong. We've always survived the experience. It just meant that I spent the month of October buying him special treats at all the health food stores in a 100 mile radius with money we didn't have so he could have a Halloween experience just like everyone else.


    But this year feels different. This year feels like he isn't like everyone else. He has acid reflux disease and we have to be careful to give him as many calories as we can of the foods he can tolerate without all of the reflux symptoms. He is also old enough to know the purpose of his school party (to celebrate fall) and that he can enjoy painting or carving a pumpkin. I will also be sure to point out every full moon and black cat we see between now and the 31st.


    I won't have any pictures this year of him in an adorable costume, or the experience of hanging out with my adult friends while our kids run door to door. But I also won't have to see him give over all the candy that frankly none of us need, or the anxiety of trying to make everything JUST right for him on the night of trick or treat.


    I'm not suggesting you do the same. In fact, you should do what feels the best for you and your family. Acid reflux disease is complicated, especially for children. We're all just doing the best we can.

Published On: October 15, 2008