Helping Make Halloween Safe For Kids With Food AllergiesOctober 29, 2014
Helping make Halloween safe for kids with food allergies
Last week one of our Kenwood and Evergreen moms sent me an email with this teal pumpkin image attached. I had never seen it before, and I immediately thought it was a great idea. Hanging it in front of your house or apartment this Halloween will immediately signify to parents and kids that your home is aware and sensitive to the needs of kids with food allergies and intolerances. I love that this came from a K&E parent whose children have no known allergies. She just walks-the-walk when it comes to being inclusive!
You may not be familiar with FARE, the organization that created the Teal Pumpkin. Their full name is Food Allergy Research and Education, Inc. They represent and advocate on behalf of the more than 15 million Americans with food allergies and intolerances. As their mission they are both working towards a cure for allergies, and to help make the world safer for people living with them right now.
Halloween is a great holiday, but it raises all sorts of concerns for families with a child with an allergy. Even with the candy individually wrapped edible treats are a potential hazard. Kids with severe allergies can’t take the risk of being exposed to peanut or tree nut dust, gluten crumbs or soy ingredients. Think of how many kids (and even parents!) help themselves to a snack along the trick-or-treating route, and then place their hands into each home’s candy bowl. There are just far too many opportunities for cross-contamination.
So the Teal Pumpkin will alert people this Friday that you have some non-edible treats available for our friends and neighbors who have to be extra careful on Halloween. We started brainstorming around the office and here are some of the inexpensive giveaways that we thought of that would be safe for kids with food allergies:
- Playful plastic jewelry
- Fun costume accessories like eye patches and fake mustaches
- Temporary tattoos
- Arts and crafts materials
- Festive pencils and other school supplies
- Olde school games/toys like jax and mini-yoyos
- Small things of Play Dough
Candy is king this holiday, so it’s unlikely that you’ll have a large volume of trick-or-treaters interested in these sorts of giveaways. But imagine the joy you can bring to a child who only wants to have a safe and happy Halloween, just like everyone else. As parents I think that we can all identify with that goal.
One last quick note to our summer camp parents: we miss our campers, and we would love to see what creative and exciting costumes they are wearing this year. Please send us pictures if you think of it. Thanks!