Tiny Salutations

Tiny Salutations

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Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Halloween night: Teal Pumpkin Project


This is the time of year that everyone is getting ready for trick-or-treaters by stocking up on candy.  I'd like to ask you to take a moment to think of all of the children that may come to your house trick-or-treating this year.  There are children that have dairy, peanut, gluten, or other allergies that may not be able to eat most or any of the candy or could get sick just from their candy being near that of those they can't eat.  Then there are children that are tube fed, have limited diets due to anatomical malformations, or have strict diets from illness aside from allergies.  These children cannot eat either most or all of the candy you might give out at your front door. 

Many parents of these children take the candy away and replace it with a toy or some other gift.  Parents are always accommodating for their children with medical needs.  It is not that parents can't do this.  It is that the willingness for another, especially a stranger, to recognize and accommodate a person with disabilities is something a bit more special.  It is often something that is remembered and touches the heart of the parents and the child.  Do I think that every need must be accommodated in every situation? No, but I think this one is simple enough and is likely to impact enough trick-or-treating children that it is worth it.These children deserve to enjoy the fun of trick-or-treating that other children get to enjoy. 

The solution is simple.  Instead of giving out candy, give out a small toy instead.  You may end up spending less than you would have on candy.... and you won't gain five pounds eating half of your candy stash.  An easy way is to go to the dollar store and buy a small pack of toys.  There may be a Halloween section with toys.  If not, the party aisle or children's toy aisle are good for packages of small toys.  This year, I purchased some glow in the dark spiders, centipedes, and snakes and some stickers for those little ones a little suspect of the creepy crawlies. 

For those that can't chuck out the candy all together for nostalgia sake, you can always offer toys to just the children with medical needs.  And there is something that can help you with that......

The Teal Pumpkin Project is helping families work together to include children with special needs in Halloween.  The idea is to have some sort of non-food item to give out to trick-or-treating children with special needs, and they have a way to let families know you are doing this: a teal pumpkin.  You can either paint a pumpkin teal to place on your porch or you can print out a small flier to put on your door, or both.  The teal pumpkin is intended to act as a signal to families that you have something available to include children that can't eat candy.

It's a small gesture that, I think, is very simple to do and can mean a lot to a few costume clad children that may come to your door that would otherwise have to give up their loot.

Happy Halloween!
This is last year's costume.  We have found ourselves at Children's Hospital for every Halloween.  This year Halloween is on Saturday so we happen to find ourselves at Children's the day before!  I have a feeling he will have a lot of fun this year!