Oct 6, 2017
Keep Kids Safe On Halloween With A Teal Pumpkin
There are a lot of all-in-good-fun scares to go around on Halloween, but it’s not that simple for everyone. What seems like harmless candy treats to many can pose a substantial health risk to kids with food allergies. And for the parents of those kids, the true fear of anaphylactic shock is no joke!
For kids with food allergies, the innocent childhood tradition of trick or treating door to door in their neighborhood can be a land mine of off-limits treats. And for those who decide to take the risk, it still means that at the end of the night, parents and caregivers have to thoroughly inspect their bag of loot and pull out everything that’s unsafe for their allergic child.
A few years ago, the organization FARE, (Food Allergy Research & Education), set out to raise awareness for kids with food allergies at this time of year and promote the inclusion of all trick-or-treaters on Halloween. Their innovative idea, The Teal Pumpkin Project, has a simple concept: Purchase non-food treats for kids ahead of time, and let trick-or-treaters know you have these safe treats by displaying a teal-colored pumpkin on your door or porch.
Safe Treat Ideas
If you’re like many folks, you’re used to buying a big bag of candy at the grocery store at some point before Halloween night and calling it good. But there are lots of great non-food options that are inexpensive and loved by kids! FARE has come up with an awesome list to get the ideas flowing including:
- Glow sticks
- Bracelets or necklaces
- Pencils, pens, crayons or markers
- Halloween erasers or pencil toppers
- Mini Slinkies
- Whistles, kazoos, or noisemakers
- Bouncy balls
- Finger puppets or novelty toys
- Spider rings or vampire fangs
- Mini notepads
- Playing cards
If you plan to offer both food and non-food treats on Halloween night, just be sure to ask if there are any allergies when kids come to your door so that you can give them the appropriate treat. Or you can simply offer both choices and allow kids to pick. Your non-food prizes might be a big hit with more kids than you realize!
Teal Pumpkin Options
Painting a real pumpkin teal to display is a great craft idea, but may be unrealistic in time and effort for some. Other options could include checking with your local stores to see if there are any plastic pumpkins in a teal shade. Another great, easy option is simply printing off a teal pumpkin from the internet and taping it to your door for the night. FARE has plenty of teal pumpkin signs to choose from here: https://www.foodallergy.org/education-awareness/teal-pumpkin-project/free-resources
One in every 13 kids has a food allergy, so many of the kids who come to your door on Halloween may not be able to eat candy treats. Taking the extra step to make those kids feel safe and included on such a fun night can go a long way toward building goodwill in your community.