This year, I’ve been reflecting on what Halloween might be like for wish kids, and what challenges they may face. This lead to a little research, and I found some great resources, tips and programs to help make Halloween fun for everyone.
1. Teal Pumpkin Project helps make sure kids with food allergies don’t get left out of the fun on Halloween. To participate, all you have to do is provide non-food treats (like stickers, glow sticks or toys) and place a teal pumpkin in front of your home. You can print a free sign to go along with your teal pumpkin, provided by FARE, that explains what the Teal Pumpkin Project is.
2. Unfortunately, many children don’t get to go trick-or-treating at all due to hospital stays. Spirit of Children
brings fun and funding to hospitals at Halloween, as well as year round, through support of child life programs at hospitals in local communities. Their mission is to make hospital stays less scary for kids and their families. During Halloween, they host parties and supply everything from costumes and decorations to goody bags.
3. Magic Wheelchair is a nonprofit that seeks to put a smile on the face of every child in a wheelchair by transforming their wheelchairs into amazing Halloween costumes. You can also find some awesome wheelchair costume ideas on Pinterest and this list on Parents.com (#1 is my favorite!). Pinterest also has excellent examples for children with walkers or crutches.
And to ensure Halloween is just as safe as it is fun, here a couple general tips for all kids and families.
1. Make sure costumes are visible in the dark. If a bright costume isn’t an option, have your child wear glow sticks or put LED laces in their shoes in addition to carrying a flashlight. Parents may also want to wear glow sticks or something bright so their trick-or-treaters can always easily spot them.
2. If your child’s costume includes a mask or hood, double check that they can see properly to avoid tripping on stairs, yard decorations and the inevitable black cat.
3. Another way to avoid scrapes and bruises is to ensure the costume isn’t too long. Cut or pin the bottom if it’s dragging on the ground. This will also prevent other ghosts and goblins from stepping on them as they rush from door to door collecting treats.
4. Inspect trick-or-treat bags at the end of the night before letting kiddos enjoy their loot. Look for anything sharp, unwrapped, or seemingly tampered with.
5. You can find more great Halloween safety tips here.
6. Most importantly, HAVE FUN!