Teal Pumpkin Project makes Halloween safe for children with food allergies

Project promotes safe trick-or-treating for children suffering from food allergies

Teal Pumpkin Project: Homeowners provide non-food treats for trick-or-treaters with allergies

As Alaskans prepare for for trick-or-treating on Tuesday, some Anchorage residents are participating in the Teal Pumpkin Project.

Halloween can be a lonely holiday for kids with food allergies, as many fun-sized sweets are also chockablock full of gluten, peanuts and dairy.

All the sweet goodies costumed children collect on Halloween can be especially hard for kids who have food allergies. She hopes to spread awareness about FARE during the Halloween season to help those kids with food challenges. According to Turner, with food allergies on the rise, it's good for parents to be informed.

Initiatives like the Teal Pumpkin Project go along way to making kids with food allergies feel included, she said. A few years ago, someone had the idea to paint a pumpkin with the color to raise awareness. "And what that indicates is that you have non-food treats available for children". "Anybody involved can benefit from the feeling of knowing that they're helping their community".

Some children have minor reactions, others have life-threatening.

"What it does is it just lets parents and everyone know that, hey you can come to this store and they'll have something for you, so they can have fun as well", Dean said.

Due to the serious effects that can arise from food allergies, Guerrera feels this is an important cause.

"The families have always been aware and often, their only real option was to not allow their child to participate in Halloween", Dr. Terry Johnson said.

Enter the Teal Pumpkin Project, which identifies houses that offer non-food items using a trademark teal pumpkin.

The Teal Pumpkin Project encourages households to purchase a pumpkin, paint it teal and instead of leaving candy out, purchase cheap toys or non-food products so that children who are restricted are still able to participate in trick-or-treating.

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