Did you know that 45% of severe allergic reactions in schools begin in the classroom?1 About 20-25% of allergic reactions requiring epinephrine in schools occur without a prior history of food allergy.2
Many schools are moving away from celebrating holidays with food in the classroom. If your school chooses to celebrate Halloween, partner with key school staff and families to plan holiday festivities in alignment with your school’s wellness plan.
Ask your school to #KeepItTeal with Teal Pumpkins and Teal Apples! Share this Teal Classroom™ Kit with your child's teacher. Or ask if the administrators will share it with all the staff. The Teal Classroom Kit includes a letter to the teacher, the Teal Classroom Halloween resources and food allergy awareness handouts.
How to Use the Teal Classroom Kit
Teal Classroom Signs
Ask your child's school to display “This Is a Teal Classroom” signs. It encourages staff and volunteers to have non-food treats.
Teal Classroom Stickers
Download and print our “Teal Classrooms Rock” stickers. These are great to put on treat bags of non-food items. Or attach them to a note for students to take home to ask their parents to #KeepItTeal and have non-food items available for trick-or-treaters.
Share our coloring pages in the classroom or during a Halloween activity. These make a great message to send home. Ask the teacher to raise awareness about food allergies before the class celebration with a short lesson on inclusion and keeping friends safe.
Non-Food Treat Ideas
Ask the teacher to send home this list of non-food treat ideas for parents to send to school instead of candy. Ask the administration to include the list in the school-wide newsletter.
Encourage the teacher to read and share food allergy education and awareness handouts with other staff and administrators. You can find handouts on our website:
- Anaphylaxis: Severe Allergic Reactions - Nearly one in 50 Americans are at risk for anaphylaxis. It's important to know the symptoms and be prepared in an emergency.
- So What's the Big Deal about Food Allergies - This handout separates facts from myths to help others understand the challenges of living with a food allergy.
- Potential Food Allergens in Preschool and School Activities - Sometimes food items are used in science, craft and cooking classes. This list identifies some unexpected places where you may find food allergens, along with alternatives and precautions. This handout is included in the Teal Classroom packet.
- Tips to Safely Celebrate Halloween and Other Holidays - These handouts have ideas of fun ways to celebrate holidays in the classroom. Each handout has ideas specific to that holiday. The Halloween tips handout is included in Teal Classroom packet.
SIGN UP TO RECEIVE FOOD ALLERGY TIPS
1. Data Health Brief: Epinephrine Administration in Schools. Massachusetts Department of Public Health Bureau of Community Health Access and Promotion. School Health Unit. 2009-2010.
2. Sicherer SH, Furlong TJ, DeSimone J, Sampson HA. The US Peanut and Tree Nut Allergy Registry: characteristics of reactions in schools and day care. J Pediatr. 2001;138(4):560-565.