Teal Pumpkin Project Promotes Allergy-Friendly Trick-or-Treating

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To let Trick or Treaters know you're handing out allergy-safe treats, simply buy or paint a teal pumpkin and put it on your front porch.

According to the Food Allergy Research & Education (FARE) organization, 5.9 million children under age 18, or 1 in 13 kids, suffer from food hypersensitivities.

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Many sweets are not safe for kids with life-threatening food allergies.

"The Teal Pumpkin Project provides an opportunity for all of us to show empathy for kids who often feel excluded", FARE's chief advancement officer Lois Witkop said in a statement.

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What makes Halloween easier for Norris is teal pumpkins.

The Teal Pumpkin Project was started by the Food Allergy Community of East Tennessee to raise awareness of food allergies and to encourage families to offer non-food alternatives to candy handouts during Halloween. Cross-contamination is a concern, as many food allergies require only a small amount of the allergen to trigger a reaction. As a parent of a child with severe peanut allergies, I have to be constantly aware of what things he consumes or touches. Further, kids with medical conditions that limit their food options also benefit from the inclusive holiday fun. Schwartz recommends checking to see if the medication is up-to-date before leaving the house, as auto-injectors typically expire within one year. 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 unsafe.

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You can look up homes/businesses participating, or add yours to the list here. "You just want to say you're going to check the candy to make sure it's safe".

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