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Why People Are Painting Pumpkins Teal for Halloween

Health logoHealth 10/8/2018 Mahita Gajanan
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Trick-or-treaters and their parents may notice teal pumpkins set out in front of homes as they hit the streets for candy this Halloween.

The blue-hued pumpkins are painted as part of the Teal Pumpkin Project, an initiative through the organization Food Allergy Research & Education (FARE) that encourages those celebrating Halloween to raise awareness of food allergies. The meaning behind the teal pumpkins is to include children who want to trick-or-treat, but cannot always eat candy because they contain allergens.

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“Halloween can be a tricky time for families managing food allergies,” reads the Teal Pumpkin Project website. “Many traditional Halloween treats aren’t safe for children with life-threatening food allergies.”

To open up Halloween to children with allergies, people are asked to hand out inexpensive toys or other non-food treats in lieu of candy and set out a teal pumpkin to indicate an allergy-friendly home. According to FARE, teal is the color that symbolizes food allergy awareness.

To see which homes in your area are participating in the Teal Pumpkin Project, check out this map from FARE, which lists homes with teal pumpkins by location. You can indicate that your home will welcome children with allergies by clicking the plus sign on the map, and adding your name and address.

For those who hesitate to break away from the tradition of handing out candy, FARE suggests keeping edible treats in a separate bowl from the toys.

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