Halloween Tips for Disabilities and Allergies

Halloween is almost here! For many of us, this time of year brings about an exciting night of costumes, trick-or-treating, haunted houses, and scary movies. With that being said, many children who have sensory sensitivities or food allergies are often left behind in the fun and excitement of Halloween. By following these few tips and precautions, everyone can enjoy Halloween equally and help give parents peace of mind

Halloween Tip #1 Sensory Friendly

Many kids love the flashing lights and loud noises associated with Halloween, but for children with sensory sensitivities, these things can make Halloween unbearable.

  • Children with tactile sensitivities may be sensitive to fake spiderwebs. Place these fake spiderwebs higher off the ground so the child cannot reach them.
  • A child with tactile sensitivities may not wear an obvious costume due to uncomfortable materials or tags. Be understanding and know that some costumes may not be very noticeable.
  • Keep the music at a lower level to help child who are sensitive to sound.
  • Avoid strobe lights to help children who are sensitive to light.

Halloween Tip #2 Autism Friendly

If you see a child out trick-or-treating with a blue pumpkin, this is signaling that they have autism. 

  • A blue pumpkin represents that the child has autism. Be patient and try to make them as comfortable as possible.
  • Autistic children may not wear a costume or may have trouble looking you in the eye. Be understanding that they made this effort tonight. 
  • If they have trouble interacting at all, a parent may come up to the door with them to get their treat. 
  • Put out a seperate bowl for autistic or other special needs children so they can look through more easily. Having a bowl separated from people can help the child to feel more comfortable and gives them more access. 
  • Not all children with autism will be carrying a blue pumpkin, as their parents may feel it points out their differences. If a child is acting “differently”, be patient and understand they may have underlying disabilities.

Halloween Tip #3 Allergy Friendly

Some parents are scared to let their children go out and trick-or-treat because of a severe food allergy they may have. 

  • Create a seperate bucket of candy that is allergen-free. Some children have such severe allergies that even smelling something, such as peanuts, can send them into a severe allergic reaction.  
  • If you are nervous about making sure to have an allergen-free bowl, fill a bucket with fun Halloween-themed toys instead.  
  • When creating an allergen-free candy bucket, some common ingredients to check labels for include wheat, milk, soy, peanuts, and tree nuts.

Halloween should be a time where everyone gets to enjoy themselves, and following a few of these tips can make the night fun and enjoyable for everyone!