Ask any kid what their favorite part of Halloween is…
“Candy, yeah candy and dressing up,” said one young girl.
“I like trick-or-treating…candy,” said another.
That’s the answer you’ll usually get.
But this Halloween, let there be more treats than tricks for kids dealing with food allergies.
“A food allergy can be quite dangerous. People can die from it. Sometimes people can ingest just the smallest amount and within 30 minutes they can die,” said Dr. Michelle Weiss, an allergist at Family Center for Allergy and Asthma.
Think about it— many types of candy you see on Halloween include milk, nuts, peanut butter, or eggs.
Those are some of the most common, and the most dangerous, allergens.
And for kids, that danger is amplified.
“Children are not great communicators. Sometimes they don’t tell you, ‘Oh, I’m not feeling well,’ or, ‘My stomach hurts,’ until they are in dire straights and all of a sudden they need emergency help,” said Dr. Weiss.
But you can help make sure every kid feels included this Halloween by participating in the Teal Pumpkin Project.
If you see a teal colored pumpkin in front of someone’s home, you know they will be giving away goodies that aren’t candy, such as Halloween bubbles or stickers.
The idea is to give kids who have food allergies a chance to still be a part of the fun.
“If you offer more than just something to eat, they can also enjoy and have fun and brag about what they collected during Halloween trick-or-treating,” said Dr. Weiss.
It’s a nationwide effort that has yet to fully take off in York, but Dr. Weiss hopes to see that change.
“We always say it takes a village to keep people safe and well. And so our village, hopefully in York, will help to keep these people with food allergies safe,” said Dr. Weiss.
Dr. Weiss also warns parents that ingredients on a fun-size candy bar can differ from a full size, so it’s important to always read the label.
To participate in the Teal Pumpkin Project, click here- https://www.foodallergy.org/education-awareness/teal-pumpkin-project/map
Then, you can head to your nearest target to purchase a teal pumpkin and other goodies to hand out this Halloween.