OKEECHOBEE — If you’ve ever seen a teal pumpkin, you may have wondered why teal? That’s not really a fall color. The reason is that the Teal Pumpkin Project is meant to raise awareness about food allergies, and teal is the color of food allergy awareness.
Halloween is a difficult time for families that have children with allergies, because like all children, they want to participate in trick-or-treating, but for some of them, this could be deadly. According to Foodallergy.org, one out of every thirteen U.S. children has a food allergy. Many treats we think are safe to give out can be deadly to children with allergies.
Foodallergy.org recommends giving out non-food treats to trick-or-treaters on Halloween, things like glow sticks, rings, whistles, bouncy balls, stickers, finger puppets, vampire fangs, coins, bookmarks, stencils or mini slinkies.
Participating in the Teal Pumpkin Project is simple. All you have to do is place a teal pumpkin in front of your home to indicate you have non-food treats available. Then you add your home to the Teal Pumpkin Project map on the website at www.foodallergy.org.
This year, another color will be seen in the pumpkin arena, but these pumpkins will be carried by children with autism. If you see a child carrying a blue pumpkin, be aware, this child has autism and is either non-verbal or is uncomfortable speaking. Please do not force the issue with the child, and allow him or her to enjoy the night along with all the other children. His mom or dad will probably say “trick or treat” for him. He is not being rude. It is just not something he can do at this point in time.
So remember, look for the teal and blue. They are the new fall colors.