The American College of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology notes that about 5.9 million children in America have food allergies. And, nearly 2.5 percent (which means at least 1-2 kids in each grade at each school) of all American children are allergic to peanuts.
There’s a range of reactions when it comes to allergies – from mild (like redness and itchiness) to anaphylactic (vomiting, difficulty breathing, and in some cases, death). And many times, parents of children with food allergies don’t know what sort of reaction their child might have, and that is a truly terrifying thought for any parent to shoulder.
What makes it harder is holidays and fun events, like Halloween. Of course, as a parent of a child with food allergies, you don’t want to stop your child from joining in the fun, but you also have to protect their health and wellbeing. Many children suffer reactions just from touch or from airborne allergen particles – these become major concerns on days like Halloween when treats and possible allergens are literally everywhere.
As parents, we call all understand the worry that comes with having a child with food allergies and the guilt that a mother might feel having to hold her child back from school Halloween events or trick-or-treating in the neighborhood.
That’s why, here at The Everymom, we fully support The Teal Pumpkin Project – a campaign created by the Food Allergy Research & Education organization in order to create awareness for food allergy sufferers and promote inclusion of all Halloween participants.
In order to participate, you place a teal pumpkin on your doorstep to indicate that you have non-food treats to offer to trick-or-treaters. You can also add your house to The Teal Pumpkin Project Map, so that kids with food allergies know just where to go to get their treats.
If you do choose to participate as a household that offers non-food and allergen-friendly treats, here’s a list of possible treats you can hand out to those lucky trick-or-treaters.
Many of these items can be found in dollar bins, party stores, or online for the same cost (or less!) than candy. And, you can totally have candy available for trick-or-treaters, as well – just keep it in a separate bowl to offer those who prefer sweets (or to snack on yourself as you do the hard work of opening the door all night).