Creating a Fun and Inclusive Halloween for Kids with Food Allergies
Author: Ashley Johnson
Halloween may be a fun and exciting time for most children, but when food allergies are in the picture it can take on an entirely new meaning. The stress and danger brought on by the ingredient labels in their children’s treat bag is seen by parents with heightened anxiety for accidental exposures. And Halloween can turn into another day a food allergic child is left out of everyday celebrations. However, FARE (Food Allergy Research and Education) has taken a proactive approach through their creation of the Teal Pumpkin Project® to create a fun, safe and inclusive Halloween for all children.
The Teal Pumpkin Project was originally created in 2014. The initiative asks households to offer non-food treats to trick-or-treaters, and to place a sign or teal painted pumpkin outside their home to signal to the community that they offer allergy friendly treats. FARE has created free resources to support and spread awareness of the project. These resources can be found at http://www.foodallergy.org/teal-pumpkin-project and include a wide array of material such as: signs, flyers, stencils, coloring sheets, stickers and more.
Allergychoices continues to help promote FARE’s Teal Pumpkin Project as it closely aligns with our organizations goals. Through the practice of sublingual immunotherapy we hope to make life less scary for those who are living with food allergies. Using the La Crosse Method™ Protocol, we use the antigens patients are allergic to in order to help build immune system tolerance over time.
In addition, the La Crosse Method has over 45 years of success, an impressive safety profile, and is effective at treating all ages with allergies ranging from mild to anaphylactic. This means that our treatment has the potential to help patients with mild allergies eat the food that they love, or even help those with severe allergies build up enough tolerance to prevent a life-threatening reaction from an accidental exposure.
Allergies increased by over 50% in children from 1997 to 2011. This increases the need for initiatives that support inclusion for everyone to make the world safer and more supportive for those living with allergies. Taking active steps such as participating in the Teal Pumpkin Project, or looking to long-term allergy treatments like sublingual immunotherapy which goes above and beyond historical avoidance strategies, will increase safety for all who are living with allergies.