FABULOUS FALL FUN Join Us In Raising Awareness of Food Allergies by Placing a Teal Pumpkin on Your Porch and Offering a Separate Bowl of Non-Edible Items for Trick-or-Treaters
October is one of the happiest seasons for families, filled with lots of fun things to do– especially for kids. From pumpkin patches and apple orchards, to haunted houses and Halloween parties, calendars fill up fast as residents get ready for spooktacular fun leading up to the big day– October 31st.
Halloween is one of the most anticipated holidays of the year for kids, but unfortunately, it can be a scary time for some. This is because of the food allergy epidemic that families are facing today and the risks involved for kids with allergies while trick-or-treating. Though I’ve always felt for families having to deal with this, I never truly understood their position until now.
On a Friday night in August at around 8pm my youngest daughter, Ella, who is 3, went into anaphylactic shock after she ate trail mix. She fist felt tingling and itchiness in her mouth, then her cheeks turned rosie red and she started to vomit uncontrollably. Her throat started to swell and hives started to form all over her body. After giving her a dose of Benadryl, we headed straight to the ER where they treated her with an EpiPen and a steroid. It was terrifying, needless to say. Soon after, Ella was tested and we learned that she is severely allergic to Cashews & Pistachios, along with other tree nuts.
When this happened we were in shock and very scared since she had no known allergies at the time. Following this life-changing incident, we felt very blessed that her throat did not close and that she recovered quickly. We now know that age 3 is a prime age for an allergy diagnosis since kids are starting to try new things. As a family, we are trying to get as educated as possible and vow to help others in the same position whenever we can.
This Halloween we encourage all homes to participate in the Teal Pumpkin Project which raises awareness of food allergies. Simply place a teal pumpkin on the porch to show trick-or-treaters that you also offer non-edible treats. You don’t have to stop passing out candy, you would just make non-edible treats available as well in a completely different bowl to remain careful. Ideas include stickers, pencils and other fun items available online at Oriental Trading Co. and at local Party City stores. I plan to do this at my home and I hope you will join me in this special awareness campaign to help kids like Ella stay safe while enjoying trick-or-treating just as much as the other kids. It’s a simple way to help a cause that is so important to many throughout the community.
Publishing Director, West Suburban Area