Teal pumpkins signal allergy friendly trick-or-treating

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The point of the Teal Pumpkin Project is to make trick-or-treating as inclusive as possible.

The project is sponsored by Food and Research Education (FARE).

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says that the prevalence of allergies caused by food in children has augmented by over 50% since 1997.

The Hess family gets pumpkins donated to them or they buy them out of their own pocket book. The Teal Pumpkin Project provides an opportunity for all of us to show empathy for kids who often feel excluded.

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A map of houses in Spokane participating in the Teal Pumpkin Project can be seen here.

As per Food Allergy Research and Education, in every classroom, two children suffer from a life-threatening food allergy, on an average. Cross-contamination is a concern, as many food allergies require only a small amount of the allergen to trigger a reaction. The Teal Pumpkin Project is looking to make sure all kids can enjoy trick or treating. "Kids with food allergies are often excluded in events, mainly birthday parties where they can't share in desserts", said Marks. This child, in particular, has a food allergy to peanuts, tree nuts, and soy.

Putting the teal pumpkin out front doesn't necessarily mean you aren't offering candy, but instead, giving trick or treaters the option.

"Once we can shine a light on the fact that even though this is invisible and this child with allergies looks like every other child, to know that child is going home and dumping out their candy or giving it back-they're trading it for money or safe toys because they know they can't have anything", says Clowes. The Teal Pumpkin Project is not meant to replace the tradition of giving out candy on Halloween. Our work is organized around three core tenets: LIFE - support the ability of individuals with food allergies to live safe, productive lives with the respect of others through our education and advocacy initiatives; HEALTH - enhance the healthcare access of individuals with food allergies to state-of-the-art diagnosis and treatment; and HOPE - encourage and fund research in both industry and academia that promises new therapies to improve the allergic condition.

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