Teal Pumpkin Celebrations Safe for All Trick-or-Treaters
Halloween can be a fun adventure for any child who has allergies; you just have to know what to look for – a Teal Pumpkin on a doorstep. The Teal Pumpkin alerts trick-or-treaters that there are non-food related treats available at the home.
Putting a teal pumpkin on your doorstep shows a family with allergens you have non-food treats available. This simple act promotes inclusion for trick-or-treaters with food allergies or other conditions. Some ways you can help the Teal Pumpkin Project are:
- Provide non-food treats such as Play-Doh, pencils, small toys, or other items for trick-or-treaters to choose from.
- Place a teal pumpkin in front of your home to indicate to passersby that you have non-food treats available.
- Add your home to the Teal Pumpkin Project map.
Spread the word! Share the Teal Pumpkin Project with your friends and family. Social media is a great way to tell your friends and family that you are supporting this project.
The Teal Pumpkin Project was started in 2014 by the non-profit advocacy group FARE, Food Allergy Research and Education Foundation, as a worldwide movement to promote non-allergen related treats for Halloween. Many common allergens such as milk, eggs, peanut and tree nuts, soy, and wheat are found in Halloween candy and can cause serious and even life threatening reactions when ingested.
A way that you can help your child is to help them be aware of what is safe and what isn’t. Discussing with your child prior to trick-or-treating what to look for can help them know where to go. Show them an image of a teal pumpkin, talk about foods they can have if that is what the treater has, and how to respectfully decline a treat. Carrying a teal bag for treats is also a great reminder and visual for your child.
When you have a child with allergies it can put a damper on many events that should be a joyous time. Halloween is one of them. Parents of children with allergies greatly appreciate those who take the extra step to help ensure they have a fun filled night of tricks and treats. It’s about inclusion and making sure all children feel welcome.
Have a safe and happy Halloween!
By Karen Rieck, Family Life Educator, Women’s and Children’s Community Outreach Education, Avera McKennan Hospital & University Health Center