Trick-or-treating might get a bit safer, as teal pumpkins invite no allergic reactions for Halloween by clearly marking each house where non-food treats will be available.
- 1 in 13 children in the United States has a food allergy
- Food allergies have seen a 50% increase between 1997 and 2001
- Teal Pumpkin Project is a nationwide campaign that suggests the addition of non-food treats for children on Halloween
- A number of 100,000 houses have already reported their participation, indicated by teal pumpkins on their porch or signs
Halloween is a beloved holiday for families, and children alike. The pinch of mystery, the costumes, and the tremendous amounts of candy is enough to gain the excitement of children. However, many cannot fully indulge in the tasty sweet treats commonly passed on by locals to trick-or-treaters. It makes it difficult for them to enjoy the holiday.
Parents with young children who suffer from allergic reactions to common ingredients, such as peanuts, milk or eggs, are always required to read labels before allowing the little ones to take a bite. That’s a recommended measure regardless, but it makes it more difficult for them to enjoy Halloween. Especially for children who trick-or-treat with their friends alone, who aren’t allowed to eat anything they get.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), food allergies have seen to a 50% increase between 1997 and 2011. Today, it’s estimated that 1 in 13 children suffers from at least one food allergy, which causes worries in parents during holidays. Halloween is at the top of the list.
While children dress up and walk from house to house, an assortment of candy will end in their bag, each with its own risk of causing an allergic reaction. While parents certainly read labels, there’s no telling which will slip by and endanger their child.
So, the U.S. Food Allergy Research & Education (FARE) has launched the Teal Pumpkin Project for the upcoming holiday. They proposed that residents offer non-food products for children who suffer from food allergies. It would make Halloween enjoyable for them as well, even if they cannot indulge in sweet treats.
The Teal Pumpkin Project is also a campaign that aims at creating more awareness over the ever increasing food allergy statistics, along with the dangers lurking around in common Halloween offerings. Children allergic to milk cannot eat most of the chocolate products on the market. Anything with nougats or taffy can cause a reaction in kids allergic to eggs. These are just a few frequent ingredients that might endanger the lives of little ones.
This is an increased risk among those who go trick-or-treating alone. While older kids might recognize the type of candy they cannot eat, they might not know what to look for on the labels of others.
As an alternative, the Teal Pumpkin Projects suggests people to adorn their houses with teal-colored pumpkins to indicate that they’re offering more than candy. FARE has proposed low-cost alternative such as stickers, coloring books, bracelets, crayons, bouncy balls and many others.