Here's An Easy Way For You To Include Kids With Allergies On Halloween

by Maria Guido
Originally Published: 
Image via Instagram/ Factory Direct

The Teal Pumpkin Project aims to include ALL kids in Halloween fun

Have you seen any teal pumpkins in your neighborhood? If you have, you may be wondering what they’re all about. If you haven’t, maybe you can be the first to start this wonderful trend in your ‘hood.

The Teal Pumpkin Project originated in a Tennessee neighborhood by Becky Basalone, leader of the Food Allergy Community of East Tennessee. The project was started to bring awareness to the specific struggle allergy families face during Halloween: how to make their child feel included in the festivities in a safe, fun way. The Teal Pumpkin Project encourages households willing to provide non-food “treats” for children with allergies to paint a pumpkin teal and set it on their doorstep. This way, children know that they can expect stickers, glow sticks, or other fun trinkets that aren’t food-based.

The movement quickly spread across the country — and for good reason. An easy trip to the dollar store and a little teal paint goes a long way toward making all children feel included.

Of course, there are those who think any show of compassion is a ridiculous waste of time. On any article about this movement, there are a handful of those who just have to be naysayers. Oh, internet.

How about you as the parent check your kids candy before they eat it look at that so simple.
What if I just wanted to paint my pumpkin teal? Now I can’t or I have to hand out special treats?
Golly they raise awareness for everything these days. It’s starting to get out of hand.
Freaking political correct crap. If your kid has an allergy you hold his or her bag then inspect it when you get to the house.

Yes, parents can sift through their kids’ candy. Yes, it’s a parents responsibility to care for their child. This is about way more than that — it’s about practicing compassion. It’s just a nice gesture for families and children who daily deal with navigating allergies. It’s a way to show that the holiday is about more than the candy. And it’s a way to give parents who are used to approaching this holiday with a ton of reservations some relief.

Every day I’m grateful that I don’t have to navigate food allergies. Anything I can do to show support for those families who do — I’m game. If a quick trip to the dollar store can provide a safe option for a child or make just one child feel included and special — I’m all in.

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