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Here’s how you can help kids with food allergies have a happy Halloween

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Photo courtesy of the Teal Pumpkin Project.

This Halloween, you can help kids with food allergies have a fun trick-or-treating experience.

The Teal Pumpkin Project was created by a mom who wanted to keep kids with food allergies from feeling left out on Halloween. It’s now in its fourth year as a national awareness campaign led by Food Allergy Research & Education, and it has reached millions of kids across the country and around the world, according to FARE’s website.

For millions of children with food allergies, trick-or-treating can be problematic because many candies that are handed out contain major food allergens, such as milk, peanuts, tree nuts and wheat, according to a FARE news release. FARE’s Teal Pumpkin Project promotes safety and inclusion for all trick-or-treaters by encouraging people to provide non-food treats on Halloween. A pumpkin painted teal, the color for food allergy awareness, signals that children will find a fun, non-food treat that anyone can enjoy. On FARE’s website, you can find ideas for non-food treats.

“One in 13 children in the U.S. has at least one food allergy, and reports show that anaphylactic food reactions have climbed dramatically in recent years,” said Lois A. Witkop, Chief Advancement Officer at FARE, in a prepared statement. “It’s clear that food allergies are a serious public health issue that we all must take seriously. The Teal Pumpkin Project provides an opportunity for all of us to show empathy for kids who often feel excluded. We would love to see at least one teal pumpkin on every block – and it’s a terrific way for communities to come together to celebration inclusion.”

If you would like to participate, paint a pumpkin teal or buy a teal pumpkin from a craft store and place it in front of your home to let trick-or-treaters with food allergies know that non-food treats are available there. You can also print a free sign from FARE’s website and display it in front of your home.

Don’t forget to add your address to the participation map on the FARE website, so that those seeking non-food treats on Halloween night know where to go. As of Monday, the map indicates there are only a handful of participating households in southern Denton County.

Click here for more information from FARE’s website.

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