Halloween is just around the corner, and it won’t be long until kids in Colorado can go trick-or-treating in their neighborhoods. Given that kids with food allergies are more vulnerable this season, the nonprofit organization Food Allergy Research and Education (FARE) obliges everyone to participate in The Teal Pumpkin Project, which is championed by various moms’ groups in the state. According to WUSA9, partaking in this campaign is quite easy:
Participants are asked to place a teal-painted pumpkin or a teal pumpkin sign on their door step if they are handing out non-food treats.
FARE suggests handing out items like stickers, crayons, small toys or glow sticks in place of or in addition to candy. If you choose to hand out both, you’re asked to keep the candy and non-food items in separate bowls.
This campaign is rather timely, considering that about 4 to 6 percent of kids in the U.S. have food allergies. While this disease has no cure at present, parents can still do something to help their kids out. For one thing, they can bring their little ones to a pediatrician in Westminster, like one at Indian Crest Pediatrics, for a physical exam. If concerned about food allergies, parents can ask about a test. This may involve placing a food extract on the child’s skin to confirm the presence of an allergy. Symptoms include itchy, red bumps that start appearing after about 15 minutes.
While food allergies are a serious matter, they are also often misunderstood – hence the need for a consultation with a reliable medical professional. A 2010 study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association suggests that many cases of food allergies in the country are actually cases of food intolerance. In fact, most food allergies are traceable to only a few foods, namely milk and nuts, most of which kids often outgrow. That said, an allergic reaction to food should still be taken seriously since it can also result in vomiting, diarrhea, shortness of breath, and difficulty breathing.
It is, therefore, easy to understand why FARE isn’t taking any chances this Halloween. People who will participate in The Teal Pumpkin Project are also encouraged to be mindful about the kind of non-food items they hand out as they may still contain food allergens, like wheat. Parents of any child who suffers a mild allergic reaction are advised to find an experienced Westminster pediatrician or a similar professional immediately so that the necessary treatments can be administered.
Here’s hoping for a Teal and allergy-free Halloween in Colorado!
(Source: Helping trick-or-treaters with food allergies, WUSA9, October 15, 2014)