Teal Blue Pumpkins? In our previous blog, we spoke at length about the dental decay dangers posed by the Halloween Season. Additionally, we also noted the challenges posed by Halloween 2020, under the COVID-19 threat.
We know Halloween will be practiced differently in many communities. However, whatever way your family celebrates it this year, we suggest you honor the holiday by placing teal blue pumpkins on your porch!
The Meaning Behind a Feel for Teal (Blue Pumpkins, That Is)
Every year at this time we introduce these strangely colored pumpkins on behalf of FARE, the Food Allergy Research & Education advocacy group.
Originally, the backstory of The Teal Pumpkin Project was inspired by a local awareness activity. Also, it was run by the Food Allergy Community of East Tennessee (FACET).
Both FARE and FACET crusade “to reach families across the country and around the world with the Teal Pumpkin Project’s messages of awareness, inclusion, and community.” They simply want to make all communities aware of children who suffer from food allergies and sensitivities.
You see, for families managing food allergies, Halloween’s special candy treats, poses an annual threat. “Many traditional Halloween treats aren’t safe for children with life-threatening food allergies.
The Teal Pumpkin Project promotes safety, inclusion, and respect of individuals managing food allergies.” We’re not saying take away the candy,” says Rutter. He is the founder of the No Nuts Moms Group and an employee at FAACT (Food Allergies & Anaphylaxis Connection Team). “We’re saying give options to kids who might not be able to participate otherwise.”
In other words, children with allergies need to have Halloween fun too.
Basically, teal blue pumpkins symbolize a “worldwide movement.” They “offer an alternative for kids with food allergies, as well as other children for whom candy is not an option.”
Keeping Halloween a Fun, Positive Experience for All!
This goal puts FARE right on target with dentists. In short, dentists dread the overdose of sugar and decay that Halloween offers. The Teal Blue Pumpkin on your porch means you will give out non-food items. Examples include lite glow-sticks or tiny toys given at Halloween festivities or Trick or Treat.
3 Ways to Promote Inclusion for Children With Food Allergies
Thus “Dentistry for Children” suggests you carve some nice, fake teal blue pumpkins as a healthy activity before the holiday. As FARE states you only need do 3 things to be a part of all the Blue Boo Fun:
1. First of all, provide non-food treats for trick-or-treaters.
2. Place a teal pumpkin in front of your home. This will indicate to passersby that you have non-food treats available,
3. And finally, Spread the “Teal Pumpkin Project” with your friends and family.
FARE says Beware
Likewise, we want you to know that there are some non-candy treats to avoid. Clay may contain wheat. Additionally, parents should avoid handing out treats or toys with typical latex gloves. You see, some kids have latex allergies.
Haunting Facts You Might Not Know: Food Allergies
Did you know Food allergies are a life-altering “and potentially a life-threatening disease and a growing public health issue?”
- In the U.S., one in 13 children has a food allergy. We want you to understand that means at least two children in every classroom.
- For many children, a tiny amount of their allergen has the potential to cause a severe reaction.
- Reactions can range from hives all the way to life-threatening anaphylaxis.
- Almost any food can cause a reaction. In fact, many popular Halloween candies contain nuts, milk, egg, soy, or wheat. Therefore, you should realize, these are some of the most common allergens in children as well as adults.
- Likewise, many miniature versions of candy contain different ingredients than their full-size counterparts. Often some miniature candy items do not have labels. So, parents cannot determine whether these items are safe.
- Nothing ruins a celebration faster than an allergy, asthma, or digestive reaction.
Take the Teal Pumpkin Pledge of Awareness
In some years, FARE offers a map that guides folks to Trick or Treat houses all across the USA. They show parents where to find the houses that feature non-food treats for children with food allergies.
However, this year, with COVID-19, things are different in many communities. Some areas will be greatly discouraging the usual Trick or Treating or Halloween parties. Thus, FARE simply asks you to take the Teal Pumpkin Pledge.
Spreading the Teal Blue Pumpkin Word
So, for Halloween 2020, show your awareness of kids with food allergies and sensitivities. “Sign up to tell your friends and neighbors that you want Halloween to be safe for everyone.”
“Submit the form to receive your official Teal Pumpkin Project Pledge certificate to display.” Then, you can put the certificate in your window or on your door for the entire neighborhood to see.
As healthcare professionals, Dr. King and his staff realize that non-food treats provide a safe, fun alternative for children with food allergies. And we could not be happier about the tooth decay such mini-toy alternatives discourages!
FARE provides this list of non-candy treats that can be handed out for Halloween:
Glow sticks, bracelets, or necklaces.
Pencils, pens, crayons, or markers.
Halloween erasers or pencil toppers.
Whistles, kazoos, or noisemakers.
Finger puppets or novelty toys.
Spider rings or Vampire fangs.
Playing cards and Bookmarks.
Stickers and Stencils.
And if you can’t find these items, check out the shopping page at this convenient online resource.
Once again, Dentistry for Children says, Thank you for reading our blog.
And here is a question for all of our “Kids” (young or old).