Sweet no treats? Health and Inclusion Concerns Drive Halloween Alternatives – Washington Times | Team Cansler

If you are planning to take your kids trick or treating, you might be surprised to find several alternatives to candy this Halloween.

Health, safety and inclusion concerns drive new trends in the annual Ghouls and Goblins Game. These include teal pumpkins covered in stickers and pens for trick-or-treating with candy allergies.

They also include warnings about rainbow-colored opioids that look like candy and precautions to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Meanwhile, some elementary schools have canceled Halloween celebrations over cultural inclusivity and safety concerns.

“In today’s society, holidays are not only becoming increasingly secularized, but also castrated and boring,” said Gregory T. Angelo, president of the conservative New Tolerance Campaign. “As time has gone by, it has become increasingly clear that the most accurate definition of ‘progressivism’ is ‘fear that someone somewhere is having fun.'”

But fun and safety can share the same space, parents say. Victoria Bako, a homeschooling mother of five children under the age of 11, says her Christian family participates in the Teal Pumpkin Project. The national trend is encouraging parents to set aside a labeled no-candy treat squash for trick-or-treating with allergies.

“We might skip trick-or-treating this year because my son is getting older with allergies and it’s just not fun if you can’t eat two-thirds of the candy,” said Mrs. Bako, 34, of Fort Worth, Texas.

And authorities are alerting parents to brightly colored fentanyl pills resembling candy or sidewalk chalk that could end up in their kids’ Halloween hideouts. The district attorney for Sacramento County, California, recently told CBS News that drug dealers often target children with the colorful and sometimes deadly opioid.

Additionally, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is advising parents to get the latest COVID vaccine boosters for children ages 5 and older. The agency called it “the best way to protect yourself and others from serious illness from COVID-19 this Halloween.”

Other “tips from the CDC for staying COVID-safe this Halloween” include trick-or-treating outdoors, staying home if you’re sick, and wearing masks at indoor parties.

“Consider making the mask a part of the costume — like a doctor, nurse, ninja, or cowboy,” the CDC said.

For several years, public schools have canceled Halloween celebrations, saying they alienate some families for cultural or religious reasons. As school shootings have become more prominent, safety concerns are affecting some of this year’s cancellations.

In Pennsylvania, the Lower Merion School District recently canceled its Halloween parade for six elementary schools. The decision followed the fatal shooting of a 14-year-old football player outside Roxborough High School a few weeks ago.

“Just the thought of having an entire school population of young children in a field surrounded by adults that we couldn’t possibly vet was worrisome,” Amy Buckman, director of school and community relations at Lower Merion, told the Philadelphia Inquirer .

Ms. Buckman added that the inclusive school district “has a large number of students who do not celebrate Halloween for religious or cultural reasons.” These students would have either missed school or gone to the library on the day of the parade.

Robert Weissberg, a retired political science professor at the University of Illinois, says the concerns are becoming more of a ruse than a treat for many Americans.

“The left can kill anything,” Mr. Weissberg said. “No doubt some cities will appoint a Halloween commission to ensure all future Halloweens are carbon neutral, inclusive, non-racist and non-sexist to eliminate dangerous stereotypes.”

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