The Teal Pumpkin Project
Halloween is such a fun time for children….but think about the anxiety of some parents and the disappointment of some children when a food allergy gets in the way of fun and safety. There are many children who have life threatening allergies to foods such as nuts. The fun of trick-or-treating can be replaced by anxiety and disappointment when those children receive treats which are not safe for them to have. Even candy that doesn’t obviously have nuts may be unsafe for the severely allergic as most have been produced in factories that have nuts and can’t guarantee there is no cross contamination.
There is a new “tradition” that is trying to be started, The Teal Pumpkin Project. With this movement, homes would post a teal colored pumpkin and sign showing they have non food item treats available at their home. What a great relief for parents to know that there is a safe option for their child and what fun for the child to know that he or she will actually get to keep the treat they receive at this house. Fun treats may include stickers, bubbles, rings, play dough, pencils, erasers, bouncy balls, kazoos, crayons, to name a few! I have become more aware of the challenges parents and children face when severe food allergies are part of their lives…I hate to imagine the disappointed eyes that a sweet child I work with may have when she receives an unsafe treat. Hard to explain to a 6 year old “princess”. So, let’s make an effort to include non food item treats in our Halloween shopping this year. Keep it fun and safe for all the little super heroes, princesses, ghosts, and goblins that ring your doorbell.
Take a breath, enjoy the joyful moments of each day, and remember you don’t have to be perfect to be the perfect parent.
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