Hello, everyone! I hope those of you who have little ones or who just enjoy the upcoming Halloween holiday are getting ready! I wanted to put out a reminder that the Teal Pumpkin Project is something to look for in your respective neighborhoods on Halloween night. If you take your children trick-or-treating and food allergies are a part of your lives, please remember that homes with a teal pumpkin are allergy free and “safe” treats for your children who have to be cautious of their food allergies. This usually means there may not be any candy, but there will be stickers, small toys, playdough, etc., things the children will get instead of the traditional candy that most will not be able to consume. This is great because these children do not have to feel left out and can enjoy this time of year as much or better than their candy counterparts! If there is candy it should be gluten, dairy and nut free, so watch out for that.
Homes with teal pumpkins should not be giving out both allergy-free treats and regular candy treats due to possible cross contamination. Yes, even if wrappers are on all the pieces of candy, cross contamination can happen and a fun evening could turn tragic if the wrong piece was given to a child with a severe food allergy. Another important reminder is to make sure your older children are well aware of not sharing their candy if they have friends or younger siblings with food allergies. I often think this is a given, but there are those times when young people (elementary through high school) forget. And it is times like Halloween that we all need to pay closer attention to the important and serious needs of our youngest and most vulnerable population on this holiday.
This Halloween may also be very rainy and windy, so please remember to dress children of all ages in warm clothing underneath their chosen costumes. I realize that may change the effect of the costume, but keeping warm and dry is a bit more important than having the perfect costume effect. However, if you’re not venturing outdoors that evening then it isn’t as much of a concern. One thing I often think of is how cold little hands can get being outdoors in the cool rainy night. If at all possible you may want to consider a pair of mittens or gloves to keep their little hands toasty. Most of us adults giving out treats will make sure we get the treats in their little bag or bucket, so no worries there.
Another safety tip that I believe to be one that is often times overlooked is making sure that you do not leave a group of young children in the care of an older sibling that is not an adult. And yes, I mean do not leave the responsibility of watching over young children to teenage kids. The reason I say this is because Halloween has a long tradition of going door to door in your neighborhood or a friend or relatives neighborhood. Going to houses of people you do not know is common on this particular occasion, however, if something should happen you don’t want your older child feeling the guilt and having that heavy weight on their shoulders. Adults should be responsible for all of their children and allow all of their children no matter the age to be able to relax and have a really fun time on Holloween. Just think of it as getting more exercise for yourself by walking along with the kids and keeping a safe eye on each of them. Work together to make sure we don’t hear of any tragic accidents the next day on the news. Halloween does not have to be a sad event, it can always be safe, happy and fun if we adults take responsibility for the children out on that one evening each year!
Some people may say their teenager is super responsible and doesn’t mind and it is a good experience for them learning how to be more responsible as they mature. I believe there are many, many other occasions throughout the year that your teenager can show responsibility and it doesn’t have to be on an occasion that may put both in danger if attention is easily distracted by the older child. And yes, teenagers are not yet adults, they are still children in many ways. Just look at the current brain research and you’ll know that your teenager still has some years ahead to develop into a mature and responsible adult. Let your kids be kids without the heavier responsibilities that are meant for adults. If you don’t agree then you can find another blogger that sees things your way, but for those that do, you probably have experienced similar events in your life that support what I’m saying.
Have a happy, safe and memorable Halloween this year! Let’s keep all the children safe and make it possible for them to have fun without worries!! They deserve that, don’t you think? 🙂
Walk, ride or drive to The Marigold School of Early Learning! 🙂 Please share this blog with families you think could use these safety tips. Also, be sure to leave any comments about your experiences trick-or-treating with your children! Have any of you stopped at homes with the teal pumpkin? Let me know! 🙂