Friday, October 16, 2015

Teal Pumpkins

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Halloween can be full of frightening sights, especially for parents whose children have food allergies. One in every 13 children are affected by food allergies in the United States. Their reactions can range from mild responses to a severe, and potentially deadly, anaphylaxis reaction. Parents and children can spend a lot of time regularly checking labels and finding alternatives to avoid reactions. Holidays, especially Halloween can require extra precautions to ensure safety.  The fun of trick-or-treating can quickly turn stressful as parents have to sort through candy before their child can have any, often this can be a difficult task, as many fun size candies don't list ingredients of allergens. Other parents face their child's disappointment of not being able to fully participate in the day's activities.

 In 2014 the Food Allergy Research & Education (FARE) launched the Teal Pumpkin Project, to make Halloween safer and happier for the 15 million Americans with food allergies. In the past year, the project has spread to all 50 states and 7 countries.

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The Teal Pumpkin Project works to make it easier for families with allergies to enjoy the festivities. A teal pumpkin or sign on the porch indicates to parents and children that a home has non-allergen treats, making it easier for parents to find houses that have a treat their child can enjoy. To participate, simply place a teal pumpkin on your porch or a sign to indicate that you have allergen-friendly treats for trick-or-treaters. You can handout glow sticks, stickers, pencils, spider rings, or other allergen-friendly treats and toys. So while you are out doing your shopping, pick up some allergy-friendly treat options and an extra pumpkin and some teal paint to make the holiday a little more enjoyable for everyone.

 For more ideas and other information on how to get involved, visit The Teal Pumpkin Project.


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