What kind of child doesn't love Halloween?
There are spooky movies to watch, fun costumes to wear, and free candy from trick-or-treating to eat.
Sadly, there are actually many children who miss out on the fun of trick-or-treating each year - because they have life-threatening food allergies.
With the risk of suffering a serious reaction from their Halloween candy, many kids just can't enjoy Halloween the way their friends do.
But a growing movement is trying to change Halloween for the better, and they're using blue pumpkins as their symbol.
What's So Spooky About Allergies?
The non-profit agency Food Allergy Research & Education (FARE) say that 15 million Americans have food allergies, and one child in every 13 has them.
That means about two children in every classroom in American have allergies, which can be range from mild to serious and even deadly.
I have very serious nut allergies, so I know firsthand what these children go through each Halloween.
If they're even allowed to go trick-or-treating, their parents will probably pick through their Halloween candy piece by piece, separating the few treats that are safe to eat from the rest.
It takes some of the fun out of Halloween, which is where FARE's Teal Pumpkin Project comes in.
The quirky trend started in 2012, when Tennessee mom Becky Basalone wanted to make Halloween less scary for her son Caden, who has allergies.
Basalone put a teal pumpkin on her front lawn (since teal is the color of allergy awareness) and handed out safe, non-candy treats for children with allergies.
The movement quickly spread across the country, and now every year a growing number of parents put out teal pumpkins to show they have allergy-safe treats to hand out.
How To Become A Teal Pumpkin House
Becoming a safe stop for allergic trick-or-treaters in your neighborhood is as easy as putting out a painted pumpkin (or buying one) and handing out safe treats.
But since the movement is so new, FARE also recommends printing some of their free posters and flyers, to help introduce the idea to your neighbors.
The safest treats for blue pumpkin houses are non-candy prizes, things like Halloween stickers, erasers, or pencils.
This means that children with allergies and children who can't eat candy will still enjoy visiting your house.
If you still want to hand out allergy-safe candy, they should be individually wrapped, with an ingredients list printed on the packaging, and kept separate from any non-candy treats.
And if you choose to hand out both candy and allergy-friendly treats, make it clear to parents that you are, so they can make informed choices about the treats their children take home.
You can find teal pumpkin homes in your neighborhood using FARE's custom map, or add your own house to the list and help every child enjoy Halloween.
Will you be putting out a teal pumpkin this year? What do you think of this new trend?
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