Hand to Hold's Official Blog: Written by Parents for Parents

How to Make Your Halloween Inclusive

Kids love candy. However, for many kids candy is simply not an option. Between childhood obesity, juvenile diabetes, food allergies, and other special needs, the population of children excluded from Halloween traditions grows each year.

Year after year I dressed my daughter into her Halloween costume, and then sat at home handing treats out to all of the other children in our area.  It always made me sad that my daughter was missing out on a tradition that I LOVED when I was a child.  Last year I finally decided to do something about it.

We had been taking Casey to a few friends’ houses over the years.  They know all about her and would have stickers or toys set aside just for her.  I could have taken her to other houses, and they would have given her candy, but she cannot eat anything by mouth.  She is 100% gtube fed.  The thought of dragging her house to house to only then take away her treasure just didn’t seem fair to me.  Not only that, but then her dad and I would have been the ones to eat it (it would have been yummy, but not the best idea).

I realized that there are MANY kids in similar situations that were also missing out on Trick-or-Treating.  Thus, the Trick-or-Treat Project was born.  It really is a very simple idea.  By just ADDING a non-food treat to your Halloween goodies you are welcoming ALL children to participate in Halloween traditions.  You can still have candy too; just add some stickers, pencils, etc.

In order to make it easy for families to know which houses provide non-food treats, the Trick-or-Treat Project has a few tools on their site:

  • A downloadable decal that you can print out and hang visible to trick-or-treaters.
  • A smaller decal that can be downloaded and worn by kids that cannot eat candy to let families know they prefer the non-food treats if available.
  • A registration system (NO personal info required) that will register your address as a participating home.  Then before heading out, trick-or-treaters can look at the map and see all CLU home’s nearby.

That’s it!  These very simple tweaks to your Halloween routine can make a HUGE difference for so many amazing kids.

The Trick-or-Treat Project also offers non-food treat ideas, retailers that sell non-food treats, as well as links to Halloween costumes, crafts, recipes, and more.  Help spread the word, please download a flyer and share it at the office, church, school, etc.

Marty Barnes About Marty Barnes

Marty Barnes (TX) is mother to Casey, a preemie born at 36 weeks.  Casey suffered trauma during delivery which resulted in brain damage, and she has multiple medical needs as a result, including a life-sustaining feeding tube. Marty established the CLU Campaign, a grassroots inclusion project, along with her daughter’s site which chronicles their journey. Marty is an active community volunteer and currently gives her time to Hand to Hold, Mommies of Miracles, and Texas Parent to Parent.

Comments

  1. I love that this is available. No one comes trick-or-treating where I live, but I would register my house if it wasn’t so far out. My son was 100% tube fed for a while. I love that this allows all kids to participate in trick-or-treating. What a great idea!

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