Published: Fri, October 27, 2017
Health | By Jay Jacobs

This Halloween Teal Pumpkin for Awareness about Child Food Allergies

This Halloween Teal Pumpkin for Awareness about Child Food Allergies

Halloween can be spooky and creepy but it should still be safe for all trick-or-treaters. To participate, families put a teal-colored pumpkin or sign outside their house, indicating that their home is safe for children with food allergies. "Our son's not old enough to say, 'Hey I have a peanut allergy can I have something else?' So we have to be right there beside him", Marks said.

- Halloween is synonymous with mini candy bars, pumpkin shaped cookies, and yes, food allergy scares.

The Teal Pumpkin Project started nationally back in 2014, that is when the Hess family started giving out teal pumpkins.

"It's a terrific way for communities to come together and we would love to see at least one teal pumpkin on every block", she added.

Dubbed the "Teal Pumpkin Project" - as teal is the official color for food-allergy awareness - people are simply leaving teal-painted pumpkins on their porches to let youngsters know they've got non-food or allergy-friendly treats to offer. Last year, over 18,000 households from all 50 states participated in the project.

Hess and his family have been collecting pumpkins and painting them teal for the past three years. The Teal Pumpkin Project is not meant to replace the tradition of giving out candy on Halloween. She hopes to spread awareness about FARE during the Halloween season to help those kids with food challenges. The treats handed out range from glow sticks and bouncy balls, to pencils, stickers, and plastic jewelry.

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.

Can you still pass out candy? This year, word of the Teal Pumpkin Project has reached millions of people through social media as well as through partnerships with national retailers who have shown their support for children with food allergies. You can keep the experience safe by keeping your food treats and non-food treats in separate bowls.

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