It’s that time of year again. Spooky scary creatures come out to play, and frightful fun is had by all. Unless your child suffers from food allergies, and then Halloween becomes scary for all the wrong reasons.
Food Allergy Research & Education reports that 1 in 13 children under the age of 18 suffer from food allergies. Break that down and that’s about 2 children with food allergies per classroom. The scariest aspect of children’s allergies is that almost anything has the potential to cause an allergic reaction. Even if you have your children tested for allergies, Halloween is full of mystery treats. Many small Halloween candies do not have their ingredients listed. Luckily, Food Allergy Research & Education is encouraging awareness of food allergies and inclusiveness for kids who experience allergies with the Teal Pumpkin Project®.
What is the Teal Pumpkin Project®?
The Teal Pumpkin Project® began in east Tennessee. An allergy awareness activity put on by the area food allergy community was the inspiration for the project. The goal of the project is two-fold. Raise awareness of food allergies and promote a way to include these little trick-or-treaters in Halloween festivities.
How does it work?
All you need to do is place a teal pumpkin (paint a real pumpkin, or a fake one from the craft store) and place it outside your home where you’ll be handing out candy. Be sure to have plenty of non-food treats for children with allergies such as glow sticks, stickers, and mini slinkies. You may also want to print out a poster explaining the teal pumpkin. FARE has a free printable sign. You can still pass out candy to kids without allergies, just be sure you do it safely. Keep the food away from the toys, and if you can’t resist the temptation to help yourself to some candy remember to thoroughly wash your hands before passing out any toys.
This is a great project. What can I do to help?
Along with what we just talked about above, you can consider printing promotional flyers and other promotional materials and posting them around your town to help raise awareness, use the hashtag #tealpumpkinproject to spread awareness online, or even host a Teal Pumpkin Project® fundraising event for your community. You can find out everything you need at the Teal Pumpkin Project® website.
The Teal Pumpkin Project® is a fantastic way for families managing food allergies to be able to involve their children in a fun Halloween experience. The CareOne Allergy team of Naples allergists wishes you and your family a safe, fun, and allergy-free Halloween.