When you take your kids out to trick or treat if you see a teal pumpkin it isn’t just a fashion statement by the home owner it is a sign of something rather important.

According to the website Food Allergy dot org researchers estimate that up to 15 million Americans have food allergies. This affects approximately 1 in every 13 children (under 18 years of age) in the U.S. The number of people who have a food allergy is growing, but there is no clear answer as to why. A reaction to food can range from a mild response (such as an itchy mouth) to anaphylaxis, a severe and potentially deadly reaction. Of all the foods available there are eight that account for 90 percent of all reactions: milk, eggs, peanuts, tree nuts, soy, wheat, fish and shellfish. Even trace amounts of a food allergen can cause a reaction.

You might be wondering what this has to do with Halloween. Well, when children with allergies go out to trick or treat the candies offered at houses may contain allergens or come in contact with allergens that can turn a night of fun into a trip to the ER. The people at Food Allergy dot org launched a national campaign that started in 2014 to make Halloween fun and safe for all children.

The Teal Pumpkin Project is a way for parents and children to identify houses that offer nonfood treats to trick or treaters. This project provides for children who are unable to have candy treats for whatever reason. Through the Teal Pumpkin Project all children can have the joy of dressing up and ringing doorbells to yell “Trick or Treat!” on October 31.

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There are many places online that you can purchase inexpenisive goodies for those little ghosts and goblins who will show up at your door! Oriental Trading has items for as little as a nickel each. You can also shop Amazon dot com for various items. Your local stores such as Dollar Tree and Walmart will also have small items that will make a goblin grin!

If you feel that you would like to have an alternative to sweets for Halloween consider putting a teal pumpkin on your porch. If you are interested in more information on the Teal Pumpkin Project please go to Food Allergy dot org and look around.


Shelley Brian is a teacher, wife, pet mom and blogger. You can read more at her blog Love Where You Live.