WK Allergy, Asthma & Immunology Center Promotes Teal Pumpkin Project for Halloween

Oct 17, 2019

WK Allergy, Asthma & Immunology Center is asking local residents to help make Halloween safer for children with food allergies. The Teal Pumpkin Project, a worldwide initiative, was launched by Food Allergy Research & Education (FARE) several years ago to raise awareness of food allergies and promote inclusion of all trick-or-treaters at Halloween.

Participating families provide nonfood treats such as stickers, glow sticks, crayons or similar trinkets for trick-or-treaters. They place a pumpkin that is teal, the color of food allergy awareness, in front of their home to indicate to parents and children they have nonfood treats.

“Families can choose to provide both candy and nonfood treats,” says allergist Caroline Caperton, MD. “The goal is not to exclude candy from the Halloween tradition. The goal is to create a fun and all-inclusive Halloween trick-or-treating experience for everyone in the community.  As a provider of allergy services in the community, we see children and adults every day who are excluded because of food allergies.”

Researchers estimated that 32 million Americans have food allergies, including 5.6 million children younger than age 18.  About 40 percent of children with food allergies are allergic to more than one food.

The symptoms of an allergic reaction to food can range from mild (itchy mouth, hives) to severe (throat tightening, difficulty breathing) to anaphylaxis, a serious allergic reaction that is sudden and can cause death.

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