Published: Mon, October 30, 2017
Health Care | By Oscar Goodwin

What do teal pumpkins mean during Halloween?

What do teal pumpkins mean during Halloween?

Putting the teal pumpkin out front doesn't necessarily mean you aren't offering candy, but instead, giving trick or treaters the option.

These houses are part of the Teal Pumpkin Project, and they are promising to provide non-food or allergy-friendly treats on Halloween that anyone - especially those who have food allergies - can enjoy.

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Allergies can make Halloween a tough time for kids who are lactose intolerant or allergic to nuts. Nevertheless, the festivities can be complicated, and disheartening, for trick-or-treaters with food allergies. Food Allergy Research & Education's first Facebook post about the Teal Pumpkin Project a year ago, reached 2.7 million people in less than 72 hours, the organization reported.

The Food Allergy Research and Education Organization has a map online showing homes with teal pumpkins.

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Like most kids, Elijah Norris has his costume picked out for Halloween, but unlike most kids, he won't be trick-or-treating for candy. As a parent of a child with severe peanut allergies, I have to be constantly aware of what things he consumes or touches.

"Checking labels becomes very pivotal because during the holidays, including Halloween, when the manufacturers make those mini small-sized sweets and they're often mass-produced on shared equipment", says Mireille Schwartz, the founder and CEO of the Bay Area Allergy Advisory Board.

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Carrying an epinephrine auto-injector, which treats all anaphylaxis, is also a good safety measure. And as you get ready to hand out the candy, it's important to know that for some children, all of those treats *could* be risky. "When you see these kids hesitating at your bowl with chocolates and peanut butter cups, it's because on some level they know these treats could harm them".

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