TORONTO, ON – October 18, 2018 – Food Allergy Canada is encouraging Canadians to shine a teal light this Halloween to help take the fright out of food allergies and promote a safe and happy night of trick or treating for all. By changing a porchlight or using another light source with the colour teal – the universally recognized colour of food allergy awareness – Canadians will be sending a strong message of inclusion to children with food allergies.
Food allergy affects almost 500,00 children (among more than 2.6 million Canadians) and is the leading cause of potentially life-threatening anaphylactic reactions. As even a small amount of an allergen, if ingested, can cause a serious reaction, avoidance is the only sure means of staying safe. This is particularly challenging at Halloween, as little trick-or-treaters are tempted with candy and snacks that might include ingredients they are allergic to. When participating in the Shine a light campaign, Canadians are telling kids with food allergies and their parents that there will be safe, non-food options, or allergy-friendly treats, available to them when they come to the door.
“Halloween can be a challenging time for kids with food allergies and their parents, especially for younger children,” said Beatrice Povolo, Director, Advocacy and Media Relations for Food Allergy Canada. “Everyone wants to see their kids have a good time, and by the simple act of adding a teal light to Halloween decorations, Canadians are sending a positive signal that all kids are welcome. In addition, the gesture helps to encourage the dialogue around food allergies.”
Food Allergy Canada has several free resources available, including safety tips, games, craft ideas, and recipes to make this Halloween memorable for all children, and to help educate Canadians about food allergies, at foodallergycanada.ca/Halloween.
Among the tips Food Allergy Canada provides for parents of children with food allergies:
- Talk to your child about Halloween and what it means to stay safe
- When you talk, model the “careful, not fearful” approach
- Ensure your child is carrying their auto-injectors (EpiPen® or AUVI-Q®) with them at all times and that whoever they are with knows where the auto-injectors are in case of an emergency and how to use them
- Remind your child to not eat any of the candy before they get home
- Have your child read all ingredient labels, with adult supervision, to check for their allergens
- Donate the candies your child cannot consume to your local seniors centre, food bank, or community
- Participate in the Shine a light campaign by changing your porchlight, adding a candle, or finding other creative ways to add teal light to your Halloween decorations
- Offer non-food treats for trick-or-treaters, like stickers, glow sticks, and pencils
- If food is being offered, ensure the treats are individually packaged and have ingredient labels on the package
- Get customized glow-in-the-dark Shine a light bracelets by visiting foodallergycanada.ca/Halloween
- Support Food Allergy Canada’s awareness and education campaign at GoFundMe.com/ShineATealLight
To further increase awareness of the Shine a light campaign, monuments and significant landmarks across the country are lighting up in teal throughout October. Canadians are also encouraged to share the creative ways they are participating by using #ShineATealLight on social media channels.
“We invite everyone to support this fun, inclusive Canadian Halloween initiative,” said Povolo. “Let’s colour the night teal so the only scary things for little trick-or-treaters are the costumes and decorations.”
Food Allergy Canada thanks the following partners for their generosity in donating their services to promote the Shine a light campaign:
- Adapt Media
- Captivate Network
- PUBLIC Inc
About Food Allergy Canada
Food Allergy Canada is a non-profit charitable organization dedicated to helping Canadians with food allergies and those who care for them. The organization is committed to creating a safer world for people with potentially life-threatening allergies through education, advocacy, and research. The organization’s approach to reducing the risk of allergic reactions in both children and adults is focused on self-management, community engagement, understanding, and respect. For more information, please visit foodallergycanada.ca.
For more information please contact:
Empower Consulting, for Food Allergy Canada
416 996-0767/ 514 844-0664