Trick-or-Treating with food allergies: the scary truth parents face

Updated: Oct. 28, 2018 at 3:33 PM EDT
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WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) - Trick-or-Treating is a Halloween highlight for kids, but for parents of children with food allergies, it can be downright scary.

According to Food Allergy Research & Education (FARE), 1 in 13 children have at least one food allergy.

Two-year-old Brendan Karabin is allergic to peanuts, tree nuts, dairy, and eggs. Even touching these foods can cause an allergic reaction, which is why his mom Danielle is hoping the Teal Pumpkin Project will catch on in the Wilmington area.

The Teal Pumpkin project is super important for parents of kids with food allergies because they want to be included in the fun. Brendan has two older brothers and so he has seen trick or treating before and he wants to go around and do it as well this year," Karabin said.

As Brendan gets ready to trick or treat with his brothers for the first time, Danielle has spent much of her time figuring out a plan to keep him safe.

“I think what we’re going to do with Brendan on Halloween is let him go to the door and do normal trick-or-treating and then carry some safe food and candy with us and trade out as we go along. And trade out the not safe candy for the safe candy,” she said.

The idea behind the project is to do three things; one provide non food treats for trick-or-treaters with allergies, two, place a teal pumpkin in front of your home to indicate to passersby you have non-food treats available, and three, add your home to the Teal Pumpkin Project map online.

“I’ve had neighbors ask me what’s safe for him so some of our neighbors are going to provide him with little bouncy balls, and spiders, and glow sticks things like that instead of food options,” Karabin said.

For more information on the Teal Pumpkin Project, click here.

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