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Teal Pumpkin Project Making Halloween Less Scary for Those with Food Allergies

Posted: Monday, October 15th, 2018 at 6:26 am
Author: Sally Y. Hart - KCII News

Food Allergy Research and Education image

Stickers, glow sticks, pencils, and small toys are a few of the options for teal pumpkins, an effort to make Halloween fun and safe for all kids, including those with food allergies. One Washington mom with two young sons with multiple food allergies is promoting the Teal Pumpkin Project, her name is Sonia Leyva.

She explains that, “the Teal Pumpkin Project is not to say that we’re going to stop giving candy, there’s also an option where you can say, ‘Do you want candy or a prize?’ And then you have a teal pumpkin for the non-food and you have a regular pumpkin or bowl for the other candy. And so we don’t want to take that away at all. It’s just providing a safe option for kiddos. Because, yes, it can definitely be scary. A treat, chocolate, or candy for your child could mean life or death for mine.” Leyva says coming into contact with an allergen can cause anaphylaxis reactions.

Residents and businesses are encouraged to have a teal pumpkin placed out front to show families that they have non-food options available during Trick-or-Treat festivities. Then have a bowl with candy and a bowl with non-food prizes for kids to pick from. According to Food Allergy Research and Education, 5.9 million children in the U.S. have food allergies, which equates to 1 in 13 kids or about two in each classroom. Leyva says the Teal Pumpkin Project is a way for more children to be included and to keep those with food allergies safe.