Halloween is just days away, but are you and your child with food allergies prepared?
Choosing costumes, decorating front yards with ghosts and goblins, anxiously awaiting buckets full of candy— this is what millions of children yearn for each October. For families living with food allergies, though, Halloween must be approached with extra vigilance and caution. But don’t get spooked! Halloween can be just as much fun for kids with food allergies.
Thanks to the Teal Pumpkin Project®, which FARE launched nationally in 2014, families across the nation are spreading awareness of food allergies throughout October to help ensure all children come home on Halloween night with something they can enjoy. How so? Simply by placing a teal pumpkin, sign or flyer on their porch or in their yards letting neighbors know they are offering non-food treats, such as glow sticks or small toys, as an alternative to candy.
Though the Teal Pumpkin Project aims to ease some of the pressure of trick-or-treating for parents with kids with food allergies, more preparation is still needed come Halloween night. Here are some tips for a safe trick-or-treating experience:
- Take part in the Teal Pumpkin Project! Place a teal pumpkin in front of your home to indicate you have non-food treats available. Display a free printable sign or premium poster from FARE to explain the meaning of your teal pumpkin.
- Tell your kids about the Teal Pumpkin Project too. Check out our Teal Pumpkin Project map before the big night to see which of your neighbors will be offering non-food items.
- Pick out some safe candy or toys to trade for any unsafe treats your child might receive while trick-or-treating.
- Make sure to go over safety rules, like not eating while trick-or-treating so that you have time to review all food labels.
- Avoid candy and treats that do not have an ingredient label. Remember too that “may contain” and other precautionary warnings are voluntary.
- Keep in mind that the mini-size, fun-size, or bite-size version of candy may contain different ingredients than their full-size counterparts. Make no assumptions, and read all labels carefully.
- Always have an epinephrine auto-injector available, if prescribed, along with a cell phone and hand wipes.
We hope everyone has a safe, healthy and FUN trick-or-treating experience this Halloween! Tell us what your plans are in the comments section!