Experts: Halloween spike in nut allergies 


Published: 28Oct2020

A new study from researchers at McGill University is looking into the link between holidays and nut allergies in children. The study found that bouts of anaphylaxis brought on by peanut allergies increased by 85 per cent on Halloween and 60 per cent on Easter, compared to the rest of the year. (CTV News)

Here are some experts from McGill University that can provide comment on this issue:

Moshe Ben-Shoshan, Associate Professor, Department of Pediatrics

“Educational tools are needed to increase vigilance toward children with food allergies. Newer strategies targeting holidays associated with high anaphylaxis risk are required.”

Moshe Ben-Shoshan is a pediatric allergist and immunologist in the Department of Pediatrics at the McGill University Health Centre (MUHC). His research focuses on the prevalence and potential determinants of food allergies and anaphylaxis (severe allergic reactions) in children.

Melanie Leung, MDCM student, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences

“At Halloween and Easter, children often receive candies and other treats from people who may be unaware of their allergies. Identifying certain times associated with an increased risk of anaphylaxis – a serious and life-threatening allergic reaction – could help to raise community awareness, support and vigilance.”

Melanie Leung is a fourth-year medical student at McGill University.

Contact Information

Shirley Cardenas
Media Relations Office, McGill University
shirley.cardenas [at]
Office Phone: 
(514) 398-6751
Mobile Phone: 
(514) 594-6877
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