Halloween has changed a lot over the last few decades. By mid-September giant costume and decoration emporiums are opening their doors and Halloween-themed candy, décor and home goods line the aisles from grocery stores to discount stores. While Halloween has certainly changed in that way, it has also become more inclusive to those with allergies (such as the Teal Pumpkin Project) and has become a platform for autism awareness. Apex Leadership Co. shares safety and leadership tips for both students and parents so everyone can enjoy this October 31, regardless of how they celebrate the day!

Keep in mind the significance of difference colored pumpkins and buckets! The Teal Pumpkin Project was initiated by the Food Allergy Research and Education organization to raise awareness for those who have food allergies by encouraging trick-or-treat givers to include non-food trinkets and small toys as “treats” to make Halloween safer and more inclusive. Homes that display teal pumpkins are signaling those with food allergies that they can find non-food items for trick or treat there.

In addition, attention is being focused on those carrying a blue bucket this Halloween. Multiple outlets from Good Morning America to Newsweek are reporting that those carrying a blue bucket this year on Halloween night may appear to be older teens or even grown adults. However, this unofficial statement signifies those with autism that greatly enjoy the spirit and fun of Halloween.

For older kids that are trick-or-treating, keep little kids in mind! While the spirit of scaring certainly rises to the occasion for teens, for many young children, Halloween can be quite frightening. Take heart when it comes to trying to “boo” little ones that seem intimidated by a scary costume or even the dark of night. Students can use their leadership skills on Halloween and be on the lookout for kids that are scaring kids too much or taking the “fun” too far.

Doing the right thing is another important leadership skill to implement while trick or treating. Many families generously leave a bowl of candy out by their front doors when they leave to take their own children trick or treating, relying on the honor system (or sometimes a little note) for trick or treaters to just take one or even a few pieces. While some kids may be tempted to dump that entire bowl into their own candy buckets, leaders know that doing the right thing feels better than a bucket full of candy.

Parents that are letting their children take to the neighborhood to trick or treat on their own should make sure they know the route their children are planning to take and either set a meet-up/return home time or keep in communication through texts or calls to ensure safety and where-abouts. The Apex Leadership Co. wishes students and families a fun, safe and spirited Halloween!