Avoid Child Allergies This Halloween With The Teal Pumpkin Initiative

First Posted: Oct 18, 2016 06:18 AM EDT

Children with allergies can wear their costumes on Halloween, but they may have to look take closer looks that their loots before they can eat all the candy. After all, allergies could be strong enough to kill.

Thankfully, parents are taking their own initiative to make Halloween a safer holiday for the tykes. The Teal Pumpkin Project is a food-free trunk or treat experience, which can help parents and children alike promote food allergy awareness - and to ensure that kids who can't eat everything are included in the fun.

The organization that started the support group is affiliated with Food Allergy Research and Education. When Halloween comes, those who support the cause can give children toys and items instead, such as glow bracelets, pencils, or stickers, to name a few. When teal pumpkins are displayed in front of a home, it lets trick-or-treaters know that their snacks or treats are allergy-friendly.

Registered Dietitian Karleigh Jurek told KTXS, "If you have a kid with food allergies, Halloween can be really spooky scary time because they want to go, they want to trick or treat, but you're not sure what they're going to get. There's always that possibility of getting something that they're allergic to."

There are a lot of children that can benefit from the project. As Herald Dispatch noted, this included those with food allergies and intolerances, children with eosinophilic esophagitis, celiac disease, food protein-induced enterocolitis syndrome, and children on a special diet such as diabetics.

Last year, households from all 50 states participated in the project - as did 13 other countries. For those who are participating, there is no need to skip the candy altogether: just remember to keep your candy and non-candy treats in separate containers and remember to ask the costumed kids whether or not they have food allergies: the choice of treat can be up to them.

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