Teal Pumpkin Project

The Teal Pumpkin Project is a worldwide movement to create a safer, happier Halloween for all kids

RAPID CITY, S.D. – Halloween is a holiday for children to go door-to-door and ask for a trick or a treat. For families managing food allergies, it can be a tricky time. Here’s more on how you can be part of the solution for those costumed characters.

Many traditional Halloween treats aren’t safe for children with life-threatening food allergies. The Teal Pumpkin Project promotes safety, inclusion and respect of individuals managing food allergies.

In the U.S., 1 in 13 children has a food allergy- that’s roughly two in every classroom. For these children, even a tiny amount of their allergen has the potential to cause a severe reaction.

Many popular Halloween candies contain nuts, milk, eggs, soy or wheat, which are some of the most common allergens.

Halie Anderson, M.D. at Rapid City Medical Center, says, “There’s a few different reasons it can be challenging. One of the things that was surprising to me that I didn’t know about, is that the fun size or the miniature size candy sometimes actually contain different ingredients than their full-size counterpart. And a lot of times those individual size candy don’t have labels on them, so that can be really challenging to a child who has food allergies who is well-trained not to eat anything until their parents read the label.”

Participating is simple. First, place a teal pumpkin in front of your home to indicate you have a nonfood treats available, provide nonfood treats for trick or treaters and spread the word about the movement to family and friends.

This worldwide movement offers an alternative to children whom candy is not an option. It keeps Halloween a fun, positive experience for all.

“The idea behind the Teal Pumpkin Project is not to eliminate candy from Halloween necessarily, but just allow it to be more safe so people who choose to participate can hand out candy. But maybe just have two bowls – one with the nonfood treats like little toys and games and tattoos, things like that – but also a bowl that has your traditional candy. And then when a child comes to the door, you can offer both bowls and say this is nonfood treats and this one is candy, and they can make that choice.”

Click here for more information on the Teal Pumpkin Project.

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