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Teal Pumpkin Project Keeps Halloween Safe for Children with Food Allergies

29 October 2017

Why teal? The quick answer is that the pumpkins indicate families who are participating in the Teal Pumpkin Project, an effort to make Halloween trick-or-treating more friendly for kids with food allergies.

According to Food Allergy Research and Education, one out of every thirteen children in the United States has at least one food allergy.

The Teal Pumpkin Project started nationally back in 2014, that is when the Hess family started giving out teal pumpkins. As a parent of a child with severe peanut allergies, I have to be constantly aware of what things he consumes or touches. Now, families across the country are taking part, looking to make sure every child can have a safe Halloween.

More and more teal pumpkins are popping up on front porches including in CT. The pumpkin symbolized that homeowners have non-food goodies for kids with any kind of food allergy.

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Additionally, in some cases, foods believed to be "safe" may have been manufactured using the same equipment that process allergy-ridden items, while others may have been cross contaminated somewhere along the way. "Kids with food allergies are often excluded in events, mainly birthday parties where they can't share in desserts", said Marks.

A food allergy is a life-altering and potentially life-threatening disease; 15 million Americans now have some sort of food allergy, including one in 13 children. With food allergies on the rise in our youth today, it's a wonder that we still celebrate Halloween the same way we have for decades.

There are a few considerations when choosing which non-food items to hand out.

While you may not know which kids have food allergies, there is a way to offer safe treats for all to enjoy. With such a severe rise in food allergies, a number of schools have modified their policies regarding the treats, parties, and sweets at school.

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But, a year ago it was a disappointing Halloween for Fritsch who developed food allergies.

What makes Halloween easier for Norris is teal pumpkins.

Putting the teal pumpkin out front doesn't necessarily mean you aren't offering candy, but instead, giving trick or treaters the option.

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Teal Pumpkin Project Keeps Halloween Safe for Children with Food Allergies