This Halloween, help all kids feel included in trick-or-treat celebrations with one simple symbol. A teal pumpkin gives neighborhood kids with allergies the heads up that your home has candy alternatives. And it’s a symbol of peace of mind for their concerned parents.
Halloween should be full of ghouls, goblins and surprise spooks — but not in the form of fear of life-threatening reactions to innocent candy. According to the Teal Pumpkin Project, one in 13 children in the U.S. has a food allergy. For these children, even a tiny amount of their allergen has the potential to cause a severe reaction.
Teal Is the New Orange
But there’s a simple way to spread the trick-or-treating love to all kids. Display a sign or teal pumpkin to show trick-or-treaters that their home is allergy-friendly. Then offer alternatives to traditional — and potentially dangerous — candy.
Spearheaded by the Food Allergy Research and Education group (FARE), the movement encourages homes to have a separate bowl with non-food or candy items as an alternative to the sweet stuff.
This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have candy available. Instead have a bowl of candy in addition to some non-food treats, should you have a trick-or-treater who identifies as having allergies.
So specifically, how do you make your home a safe Halloween haven for all kids this year?
Steps to Make Trick-or-Treat Safe for Kids with Allergies
- Think Teal: Go to this website, download a “Teal Pumpkin” sign, and display it on your door. Alternatively, engage the kids in a fun project, having them paint a pumpkin teal. Then display it outdoors on Halloween night. (Or you can buy one at the store — teal pumpkins are all the rage this year!)
- The Dollar Store, Amazon and Party Markets Are Your Friends: Order packages of non-food-but-still-fun options, including:
- Glow necklaces
- Temporary tattoos
- Party-sized play dough
- Mini note pads
- Hot chocolate or apple cider packets
- Mini-bags of microwave popcorn
- Juice boxes
- spider rings
- necklace beads
- bouncy balls
3. Keep Items in Separate Bowls: It’s not enough to have these fun options interspersed in a giant bowl of candy, as even items that touch an allergen can cause a reaction in sensitive kids.
4. Consider Adding a Note on the NextDoor App, alerting your neighbors that you have candy alternatives this year.