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Unlocking the Rainbow: Halloween Safety with Colored Pumpkins & Alternate Traditions

Updated: Sep 10, 2023

Things have changed a lot since I was a trick-or-treater in the 80's and 90's. I remember bundling up with a sweater and sweatpants under my signature Belle ballgown or simply throwing a sheet ghost over my regular clothes and then trapesing the streets (in the "good" neighborhood where they handed out full sized candy bars) until we hit every house. There was never a concern of what was in the candy or a judgement on what age the trick-or-treater was. Nowadays, the costumes for all ages are outrageously adorable and fun

However, the times have changed immensely in the last few decades. Advances in medical knowledge and mental health have changed the way the world works, which has resulted in changes even to how families celebrate Halloween. Not many people know that different colored pumpkins mean different things, so I think it is important to point these out as much as possible. Knowing the symbolism of colored pumpkins & alternate traditions means everyone can help their communities ensure Halloween safety for all.

Photo of a small purple pumpkin

Purple pumpkin at a home: COVID protocols being followed (masking when opening the door, bagged treats, etc)

Purple bucket being carried: This child has epilepsy.

Photo of a small teal pumpkin

Teal pumpkin at a home: Non-candy items available for food allergies.

Teal bucket being carried: This child has food allergies.

Photo of a small blue pumpkin

Blue pumpkin at home: Mindful of those with autism.

Blue bucket being carried: This child has autism.

Being mindful of these color meanings and ensuring an inclusive experience for all means that everyone can enjoy the Halloween fun that all of us remember being so anxious for in our own childhoods. But if the risk outweighs the traditional fun, there are other options for those families that I'm really enjoying! Something that continues to gain popularity is Trunk or Treats, where children can visit booths in an indoor and safe location. Booths are generally sponsored by schools and local businesses and offer the trick or treating experience without the rain, wind, or having to wander the streets. We all know that every child tires out about halfway through the planned route, so parents end up carrying the candy bag, the child, or both!

Not feeling the public setting? No worries, a ton of parents are opting to have home parties with close neighbors, friends, and family. This makes it possible for children (and parents) to dress up, socialize, and enjoy the holiday while being able to closely monitor contact to reduce COVID exposure and ensure that the party can be tailored to the needs of all those in attendance.

My personal favorite, and becoming super popular, are "boo baskets", similar to Christmas stocking or Easter baskets. Some parents choose to do these at the beginning of October to build anticipation, and others choose to give these on Halloween night to replace traditional trick or treating. This makes is super easy to provide a safe and enjoyable experience to every child, without risk of COVID exposure, social situations that may trigger negative reactions, or potential food

allergen exposure. Fill your boo baskets with safe snacks, small Halloween toys, and even Halloween books (of course 😉) to make it really special.

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