KALISPELL — Medical professors in the Flathead are urging more families to take part in the Teal Pumpkin Project, aimed at creating Halloween safer for kids with allergies.
Registered Dietitian Linda Fredenberg tells MTN News that the number of children in the US has doubled over the past several decades.
Now, 8% of children in the US have a food allergy, and more than 40% have a severe food allergy. Some of the most common types of allergies are milk, egg, peanuts tree nuts and wheat.
Characterized by hives, itchy, swelling of the throat or stomach pain, Fredenberg says that food allergies can even come in less obvious things like Play Doh.
For families of kids with allergies, Fredenberg says Halloween can be a stressful time.
One thing she recommends is that parents tell their kids to wait to eat any candy until they arrive at home and that they don't share any candy while out trick or treating.
She is also urging people to take part in the Teal Pumpkin Project by placing a teal pumpkin outside your home to signify that you're an allergy friendly house.
Unfortunately, not many in the Flathead Valley participated this year, but she hopes for more to take part next year. She tells MTN News, it's very easy for families to go onto to register their homes to other families to allergies know where to stop.
"I'm hopeful that in the future more families will participate and be familiar with it. The FARE website also has a map that parents can go onto and include their location. So, that in the future it will be easier for other families to find them," said Fredenberg.
If you would like more ways to get involved with the Teal Pumpkin Project please visit their website