Keeping Kids with Allergies Safe
The Teal Pumpkin Project, inspired by a local awareness activity run by the Food Allergy Community of East Tennessee (FACET), is a campaign from the Food Allergy Research & Foundation designed to build awareness of food allergies and promotes inclusion of all trick-or-treaters throughout the Halloween season. The goal is to encourage neighbors to offer non-candy treats at Halloween for children not only with food allergies but other conditions, such as diabetes, for whom candy is not an option.
Getting involved is easy.
- Provide non-candy treats for trick-or-treaters.
- Place a teal-colored pumpkin in from of your home to indicate that you have non-food treats available.
- Add your home to the Tea\l Pumpkin Project map. https://www.foodallergy.org/education-awareness/teal-pumpkin-project/map
- Spread the word to your friends, family, and neighbors.
In the US, 1 in 13 children has a food allergy, making Halloween a tricky time for families managing food allergies (no pun intended). Many treats offered either contain nuts or other allergens or are made in facilities where nuts and other allergens are also processed. This is an issue for people with severe food allergies because even trace amounts of the substances to which they are allergic can cause a severe, potentially life-threatening reaction.
It’s not just kids with food allergies who benefit from the Teal Pumpkin Project. Others who benefit include those with:
- Food allergies
- Food intolerances
- Eosinophilic Esophagitis (EoE)
- Celiac disease
- Food protein-induced enterocolitis syndrome (FPIES)
- Children with feeding tubes
- Any child on a special diet
There are many inexpensive treat ideas such as glow sticks, stickers, small toys, colors, or puzzles. Party supply stores, the $1 store or the $1 section at Target are great places to look for ideas. Have some fun and get your children involved. Have them paint a pumpkin teal to place by your front door and let them help choose the non-food treats.
Let us help make Halloween safe for all children.