[Sponsored post from Prevea Health]
Halloween is right around the corner and for kids, trick-or-treating is all about the treats! But for those with food allergies, trick-or-treating can cause a lot of anxiety for them and their families. Thankfully, there is something you can do so everyone feels included in the spirit of Halloween.
There is an initiative called the Teal Pumpkin Project. This is an effort to get people to offer something other than candy or food during trick-or-treating – so all children can enjoy the Halloween season. The Teal Pumpkin Project was started in 2014. Last year, households in all 50 states and 14 countries participated!
It’s easy to participate. Place a teal-colored pumpkin on your porch, driveway or other location to let trick-or-treaters know that you are offering non-food treats. You can also print and post a sign on your porch. Some great examples of non-food items to offer are spider rings, glow-in-the-dark vampire fangs, pencils, erasers and glow sticks. These little gadgets often cost just as much – or as little – as the candy you’d normally buy. For the pumpkin, you can either paint it with teal-colored paint or there are stores that offer pre-made teal pumpkins. To learn more about it, visit foodallergy.org/education-awareness/teal-pumpkin-project
Since obviously not everyone will offer non-food treats, here are 5 tips for families that are affected by food allergies to keep in mind while trick-or-treating:
- No eating until you’re home.
There will be better lighting and less distraction – allowing you to properly read and check all of your labels to make sure the treats are safe to eat.
- Read labels carefully.
Some miniature candies have different labels than regular sized versions. Read every label – even if you’ve eaten it before. If there’s any doubt at all – don’t eat it.
- Avoid home-baked goods.
Unless you’ve had clear communication to make sure they’re allergen free, don’t eat home-baked treats!
- Have safe treats ready to swap!
Have a stash of safe treats or prizes at home. When your child pulls an unsafe treat out of their bag and is disappointed they can’t eat it, you’ll have a safe alternative ready for them.
- Carry self-injectable epinephrine and a fully-charged cell phone with you during trick-or-treating.
Accidents happen, so be prepared!
If your child suffers from allergies, you have questions or are concerned about potential allergy problems in your child, Prevea Allergy can help! Find out more about Prevea Allergy by visiting prevea.com/allergy.
Blog provided by Dr. Bradley Locke. Dr Locke is a pediatric allergist for Prevea Health. He sees patients at Prevea health centers in Howard, Oconto Falls, and Sturgeon Bay. Learn more about Prevea Allergy here.