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As a mom of a child with severe food allergies, Halloween is the biggest nightmare of them all as far as holidays go. It’s hard to explain to a child that while others are getting dressed up to go out and gather treats from door-to-door they can not go. While it is for the safety of the child, kids are kids and they do not understand the reasoning.
During the other holidays, there is no candy and treat gathering and the environment can be so much more controlled, making it possible to not have to deal with allergy awareness.
Halloween however, is holiday kids live for and love. However, not being able to participate because they can’t touch or come into contact with particular items is just aggravating for both the child and the parents.
Avoidance is the best tool at present rather than having an anaphylactic episode that warrants anaphylaxis shot! Now, however, there is an easier way to work around food allergies during the holiday.
We adhere to this because my son has such severe allergies that he stopped going out long ago. Here’s how to lavishly live Halloween out loud and how TEAL pumpkins raise food allergy awareness.
How Teal Pumpkins Raise Food Allergy Awareness
The Teal Pumpkin Project was officially launched nationwide in 2014, as a means to raise awareness about the dangers of food allergies. Why the pumpkin, you ask? It’s simple.
Every child deserves to participate in the fun and excitement of Halloween, even when candy is strictly off-limits.
It’s truly an ingenious movement and while it may not resonate with you right now, when allergies hit closer to home, you might really understand it more. The idea is fairly simple, provide an alternate treat that is not food. Crayons, markers, squeezee balls, bouncing balls, anything but food.
How It Works
If you plan on handing out non-food treats this Halloween and want to take part in the project, you can do one of two things. Either incorporate a teal-painted pumpkin into your Halloween display or print out a free sign to hang on your door. The signage is available at the Teal Pumpkin Project website.
Why It’s So Important
One in every 13 children (in the United States) has a food allergy, which has the potential to become life-threatening at any moment. For a large number of these kids, almost any food can cause an adverse reaction.
Some of the most common childhood allergens include soy, wheat, nuts, milk, and eggs. All of these ingredients are typically found in Halloween candy, making it extremely dangerous. That’s where non-food treats come into play.
What Happens To Your Child Can Make You A Bit Sour.. Don’t Let It
So, often I will draw on personal experience. Once we had neighbors who had a child with food allergies, and other children that did not. She was miserable for him as Mama Bear. I get that but, what follows was her misery.
IN fact, it was actually intolerable wicked witch-like behavior and should not ever have occurred. Why? Because the Teal Pumpkin Project was already a movement!
Since she could not send ONE of her multiple children out to trick or treat. Rather than turn her lights off and just call it a day and spend time with her son, she did something ghoulish.
She left her lights on and when a child (who was not informed from other kids who had visited) rang the bell, she told them, “no candy here, and Halloween should be an eliminated holiday.” Remember, her other kids were OUT trick or treating, so why would she want it banned? It’s ok for her kids to get but others not to receive. Who WOULD HOLLER at a kid on Halloween?
This Did Not End Well For Her
Living in a safe neighborhood meant that most kids were not walking with parents if they were 8 and up. Thus, no one really caught wind of what was going on until my neighbor and I happened upon the house.
After our kids got screamed at while we watched from below, we pulled MOMMA BEAR Power into action and raced up to the door. This is NOT how Halloween works nor is it ever ok to scream at our kids!
Hello to The 21st Century and a Thing Called Teal Pumpkins
We introduced her to the 21st Century by pulling up a photo on our phones of a Teal Pumpkin. Then we discouraged her horrendous, witch-like behavior and made her cower for how mean she was being to children.
Seriously, we were wondering if we needed to call the police because she was just so crazy. However, after calming her down, and trust me we talked it through a while, she agreed to turn out her light and stop answering the door.
Sadly, I could feel her pain and anguish that her child could do no more than dress up. He could not risk a food allergy reaction that could land him in the hospital. However, her behavior needed to be tabled and stopped.
Her theory: if my kid can’t have it, then I am going to punish the other kids and let them know they should not enjoy themselves. Yes, a very SAD and true story. This Momma Bear thought she was protecting her cub in her own way, but truly distancing all the kids and her child.
After parents saw us at the front door with slightly elevated voices and our kids standing at the base of the driveway, it became the talk of the neighborhood. So……
Fast forward the story a few years later, she gained her composure and now proudly displays a TEAL PUMPKIN outside of her home each year. The wicked witch is now a good witch! Sidenote: a lot of kids and parents still pass on stopping at her house!
The lesson was learned, and the remedy was present, not just in her house, but in many others. It is sad we moved from that neighborhood, but, I will always have that story, lol!
Non-Food Treat Alternatives
There are many fun and affordable candy alternatives to choose from. This includes small prizes such as:
- glow sticks
- mini notepads
- vampire fangs
- Halloween pencil toppers
- spider rings, etc
You can easily purchase these items at your local dollar store or from online merchants such as Oriental Trading Company. OTC sells scads of small trinkets, perfect for trick-or-treating fun.
Whether or not their child has a food allergy, most parents appreciate non-food treats over sugary candy… and kids love them! Candy gets stale, small prizes don’t.
Of course, you still have the option of handing out both. Simply ask your trick-or-treaters if they prefer candy or a prize. It’s the best way to ensure that every little ghost and goblin has a safe Halloween.
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While it may seem like a large effort to include everyone in the holiday, the smiles on the kids’ faces are well worth the changeup and you don’t even have to say anything, just display your Teal Pumpkin. Lavishly live Halloween out loud knowing How Teal Pumpkins Raise Food Allergy Awareness and making kids smile. Display those teal pumpkins and be safe!
I am not a Doctor. My child does have severe environmental, food and other allergies, which threaten his safety. Based on my personal experience and education on Allergy Awareness and Teal Pumpkins, I created this article to be helpful. Please always consult with your doctor as to what your child may be allergic to, and have the discussion with your children as well pre-Halloween.
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