Health: Halloween & Allergy Awareness

By Stephanie Stahl

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Halloween can be difficult for children with allergies.  3 On Your Side Health Reporter Stephanie Stahl has more on a new way you can help them.

Teal is the new orange for kids with food allergies this Halloween.  Candy can be dangerous for them.

“Sometimes they’re giving out like Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, and I can’t have those,” said Allie Lynch, an 11-year-old who’s allergic to peanuts.  She is part of the Teal Pumpkin Project organized by FARE, Food Allergy Research and Education, which is encouraging people to offer non-food treats for Halloween, things like stickers or toys instead of candy.

“We get that is what Halloween is all about, but we would love it if kids with food allergies the idea that they can participate and also feel safe,” said Susan Lynch, Allie’s mother.

Teal pumpkins will identify households offering non-food, allergy safe Halloween treats.

Doctors say it’s an important distinction because individually wrapped Halloween candy doesn’t usually list ingredients, and even that isn’t always enough.

“I’ve had patients who have had severe reactions from candy that did not have tree nuts, were told did not have tree nuts, or peanuts that did,” said Dr. Robert Eitches, a Pediatric Allergist.

The Teal Pumpkin Project isn’t anti-candy.  Organizers just want to establish a safe alternative for children with allergies.  Families that are participating are asked to have candy available in a separate container from the non-food treats.

Teal Pumpkin Project Information- http://www.foodallergy.org/teal-pumpkin-project

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