Halloween is often associated with trick-or-treating and lots of candy, but there are trick-or-treaters who have common allergies and can not eat certain candy. That's why there is the Teal Pumpkin Project, which is bringing awareness to food allergies on Halloween.
Food Allergy Research and Education launched the Teal Pumpkin Project in 2014 as a national campaign to promote safety and respect for trick-or-treaters with allergies on an often kid centered holiday.
If you run across a teal pumpkin outside of a house during trick-or-treating this year, it means the household has non-food treats. The non-food treats could include Legos, stickers, vampire fangs, pencils, and more. Make sure the non-food items are age appropriate and you avoid toys that could cause choking hazards. The Allergy Associates of La Crosse are proud to support and promote this cause for a third straight year.
Dr. Chet Tharpe, an allergist and immunologist at Allergy Associates says, "The Teal Pumpkin Project acknowledges food allergies and creates awareness and basically includes these kids that have food allergies by promoting non-food items instead of food items that can be unsafe and can also make these kids feel left out."
The most common allergens include nuts, milk, soy, and wheat. Chet also cautioned against setting out fruit instead of candy or non-food items citing that children may have strong pollen allergies that could spark off an oral allergic reaction. Dr. Tharpe noted that it is a kid friendly holiday and they should be able to enjoy it, candy or not.