I finally feel like I am back among the living. I am certainly not back to 100%, but I am much better. I am run down and tired still, but I can at least function now. If I could just get rid of this horrible cough, my life would be much more manageable. It basically prevents me from talking or carrying on any conversation whatsoever. Whatever it is that I had has really kicked my butt. I have been pretty useless for over a week. I am super sad that I had to postpone lunch with one of my besties from college who I haven’t seen in years. How sad is it that since I moved a little over a year ago, we have lived in the same county and have not seen each other once? Life gets in the way too much. I know that I really need to work to make time for the people that I care about, but it sure it hard. Anyway, being sick for over a week has really been miserable.
Now on to the topic of the day! Today I am making my yearly PSA about Halloween. It is just a week away and many of you are buying candy to pass out to all of the trick or treaters in your neighborhood. I am urging you to consider also purchasing a few non-edible treats. As the mom of a child who has had her diet severely restricted due to how her body reacts to certain foods, this is a topic that I am passionate about. I always tell people about this whenever I can this time of year. Unless you are living under a rock, you have seen story after story about the rise in food allergies among children. I can’t tell you why more and more children are suffering from food allergies, but I know that it is happening at alarming rates. I am here to tell you that it is serious. It isn’t something to make light of, and it isn’t a bunch of moms overreacting. Food allergies can literally be the cause of a child’s death. They are real, and they are scary. Halloween is one of the scariest holidays for children with food allergies. Some of you may say that a child should just stay home if their allergies are that bad. If you say that, then you can’t possibly have a heart. Kids should not be punished for something they have no control over. I firmly believe that it is our responsibility as adults to ensure the safety of ALL kids. We have to do better at that job.
Several years ago, the allergy community created the Teal Pumpkin Project. Families that were willing to offer non-edible or allergy friendly treats were asked to place a teal pumpkin on their porch to let children with allergies know that it was safe to go to that house. This allowed those children the chance to experience the joy of Halloween. Thankfully this movement caught on and has now spread around the country. Hundreds of families now participate in the Teal Pumpkin Project, but it isn’t enough. We have to continue to spread the word and urge others to also participate. There are still so many communities that have never heard of the Teal Pumpkin Project. I have actually never seen a teal pumpkin at any other house besides my own. All you have to do is to purchase a few non-edible treats or trinkets that you keep in a separate bowl from your candy. Then place a teal pumpkin on your porch to serve as a message to those with allergies that it is safe to visit your house. You can paint your own teal pumpkin or you can purchase them now already painted at many retailers. I am certainly not telling you that you can’t pass out candy. I am simply asking that you also provide a safer alternative to candy. Give those kids who can’t eat the candy the chance to experience something that all kids look forward to each year.
I always share the story of my daughter from a couple of years ago on Halloween. She went out and got a bucket full of candy (she can come into contact with her allergen but just can’t ingest it). She came home and dumped out the bucket and began sorting through what she could eat and what she couldn’t. The pile of things that she could not have was huge and the pile she could have consisted of less than 10 pieces of candy. I watched as she sat there with tears rolling down her face thinking how unfair it was, and my heart broke. Not one of the houses that we went to had allergy friendly treats. In fact, we were the only house in the entire community we lived in that had a Teal Pumpkin out. There are hundreds of children just like my daughter that want so badly to fit in and do the things their peers do. Many of them are even worse than my daughter and cannot even come into contact with their allergen. I am begging you for the sake of all of those children to please take part in the Teal Pumpkin Project. Ask the kids when they come to your door in their cute or scary costumes if they have any allergies, and please offer them an alternative. I can promise you, it will make their night and it will give all of us worried moms a huge sigh of relief. You could literally save a child’s life and make their day a little brighter.
Getting allergy friendly treats is as simple as buying one less bag of candy and instead buying a few inexpensive trinkets. Often these things are less expensive than candy. Below is a list of ideas of allergy friendly treats with links to purchase them in bulk. You can also purchase assortment packs from Amazon like this or this. The good news is that these don’t go bad so you can save whatever is left year after year.
- Dum Dums (This is the one piece of candy that most children with allergies can have.)
- Bouncy Balls
- Spider Rings
- Rubber Ducks
- Silly Glasses
- Crazy Straws
- Mini Notepads
- Vampire Fangs
- Glow Sticks
- Finger Puppets
- Slap Bracelets
*This post contains commissioned links. Should you choose to purchase items through these links, I may earn a small commission.