By Erin Keating
It can be easy to get carried away when trick-or-treating when only motivation is getting more candy. However, in order for everyone to enjoy the holiday, there is an etiquette trick-or-treaters should follow. For starters, don’t visit houses that don’t have their front lights on. Generally, this is a sign that the people inside are not handing out candy and do not want to be disturbed. When you do approach a house, let any little kids who are out with you get their candy first. It is simply rude to push kids out of the way for candy – you are literally taking candy from a baby. Saying “thank you” or “happy Halloween” to the nice person who just gave you free candy out of the goodness of their heart is another way to follow trick-or-treat etiquette. However, it is imperative that anyone planning on trick-or-treating goes in costume. If you expect people to participate in Halloween festivities by giving you candy, you need to participate as well by dressing up and being appreciative of what you are given.
Another thing you should expect is to see teal pumpkins outside someone’s house this Halloween. This is part of the Teal Pumpkin Project run by the Food Allergy Research and Education organization. A teal pumpkin, the color of food allergy awareness, outside someone’s means that they are giving out non-food products such as little toys, glow sticks, or other goodies. Halloween can be a frustrating time for kids with food allergies who have to check the labels on all of their candy before they can eat it, and who often are left with much smaller amounts of candy than they received while trick-or-treating. The Teal Pumpkin Project tries to make Halloween less risky for kids with food allergies as well as raise awareness about allergies at the same time. Not only are people encouraged to put out teal pumpkin to show that they are participating, but FARE has printable fliers for people to hand out before Halloween to get neighborhoods involved with the project. By passing on information to entire neighborhoods, people are helping the Teal Pumpkin Project reach its goal of taking the fear out of Halloween for the kids and parents of families with life-threatening food allergies through community support.
However, people with life-threatening allergies are not the only people who have to be careful on Halloween. It is important to remain street smart during Halloween, even if you are doing something as simple as trick-or-treating. Make sure you go in a group and go in a familiar, well-lit area. Never go inside a stranger’s house despite what candy they say is waiting for you – by following basic stranger-danger rules you can have a Halloween with many more treats and no dangerous tricks. Also, you should make sure that your candy was properly sealed before you eat it. Candy in a torn wrapper could be tainted, and at the very least is unhygienic. It’s better to throw away that Snickers bar if it seems suspicious than deal with the consequences.