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PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Halloween can be seriously dangerous for the millions of children who have allergies. Many of them can’t have Halloween candy. The Teal Pumpkin Project is making sure they don’t get left out of the fun. Three-year-old Brady Cullinan might look like a tough little football player in his Burlington County front yard, but his allergies to things like peanuts and milk are a constant challenge. For Brady and millions of children with allergies, Halloween can be an ordeal. “You want them to feel the same,” said his mother, Eve Cullinan. “You don’t want them to feel excluded.”
Teal pumpkins to the rescue. It’s a universal symbol to let everyone know this is a house that has non-food Halloween treats. In addition to regular candy, Brady’s mom and other teal pumpkin families will also have a separate bowl with the non-food treats: “We have Halloween Slinkie things, we have stickers, spiders, sidewalk chalk.”-
“This is serious. This is a life-or-death issue for you and your family,” said Eyewitness News health reporter Stephanie Stahl. “Yes, it is,” Eve said. “When you see anaphylaxis, that’s heart-stopping, I mean, for me anyway, heart-stopping. It’s life threatening.” So an epi-pen is always nearby to offset an allergic reaction, which can happen if Brady even touches something that has been in contact with peanut products. The family finds ways to make safe food and treats fun, and now Halloween is no longer a scary ordeal, now that teal pumpkins have joined the festivities.
The nationwide Teal Pumpkin Project was started just a few years ago by a group called FARE (Food Allergy & Research Education). It has a variety of resources to keep Halloween safe for everyone, including a crowd-sourced map so you can easily find teal pumpkin homes. For more information, please visit their website at http://www.foodallergy.org/teal-pumpkin-project#.VjJAilX3anM.