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This Halloween a new awareness campaign gets a boost from the Food Allergy Research Education (FARE) to assist trick-or-treaters with food allergies identify food allergy-aware homes who will provide non-food treats. The "Teal Pumpkin Project" was initially developed by the community support group organization Food Allergy Community of East Tennessee (FACET), approximately 2 years ago and with the help of FARE, has exploded in the media.
FACET has created a Facebook page, "Project Teal" found at https://www.facebook.com/joinprojectteal, to provide further information.
Q) Why teal?
A) Teal is the awareness color for food allergies.
Q) What kind of food-free treats should I purchase?
A) We can only provide suggestions. We cannot guarantee the safety of each individual product you purchase. However, items such as stickers, pencils, erasers, glow sticks, mini-flashlights, mini-bubbles, bouncy balls are ideal. The mini-size modeling dough tend to be a popular option this time of year. Please note, several modeling dough (Crayola Play-DOH for example) contain wheat, a known allergen.
Q) Where can I find food-free treats locally?
A) Some stores sell bulk supplies of fun items such as Party Depot, Walmart, Dollar Tree and 5-Below. Know of any other locations? Share them on our Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/LoudounAllergyNetwork or let us know on Twitter https://twitter.com/loudounallergy.
Q) Where can I find food-free treats online?
A) A popular site is Oriental Trading Company: http://www.orientaltrading.com. Another is Party City: http://www.partycity.com.
LAN's Not-So-Spooky Halloween Safety Suggestions
- Illuminate (a fancy word for light up) - Wear something that glows in the dark or carry a flashlight. LED lights, glows stick jewelry and sticks work great!
- The Buddy System - Walk with a group of kids and grown ups. Use the buddy system and stay with a friend. If you don’t feel well, your buddy (or buddies) can get help. It is a good idea to walk with a grown up who has a cell phone or if you have a cell phone, be sure it is fully charged.
- Read Labels - Be sure to have your parents read the labels on candy wrappers to check if it’s safe to eat. Parents, feel free to read the Label Laws information on our site at http://www.loudounallergynetwork.org/label-laws.html.
- Carry Your Epinephrine - There are many types of epinephrine carriers. Whichever you choose to wear, it is suggested that you keep at least two epinephrine auto-injectors with you at all times. It’s the only thing that can make you better when you have an anaphylactic reaction. Feel free to visit our products page. We have listed several carriers at http://www.loudounallergynetwork.org/products.html.
- Turn In - Turn in your bag of candy to your parents so they can check for safety and separate the safe from unsafe candy. Be sure to wash your hands before you eat!
- Trade In - Swap your bag of candies in for safe ones. Parents, it’s a good idea to prepare a bag with safe treats for a safe and quick swap! There are several food allergy-friendly product manufacturers listed on our website www.LoudounAllergyNetwork.org/products.html (See “Products” under our “Resource” page).
- Donate - Several local businesses may take your unsafe candy. Ship candy to soldiers serving in other countries so they can celebrate Halloween too! Visit Operation Gratitude at http://opgrat.wordpress.com/2013/07/18/halloween-candy-for-the-troops/ to donate to our troops. Find a local dentist who participates in the "Halloween Candy Buyback" program. Some may even offer cash in return! Visit http://www.halloweencandybuyback.com.
- Treat the Halloween Ghouls - Hang your bag of candy outside your door before going to bed on Halloween night. In the morning the bag will be gone and you will be left with a wickedly good treat! Maybe it’s the Halloween Witch or the Candy Goblin, but whomever it is took that bag of candy away for your safety.
#TealPumpkinProject #ProjectTeal #FoodAllergy #Halloween