Pumpkin to talk about

Allergies take the "treat" out of trick or treating

Michelle Keiser, Staff Writer

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Donald Trump talks to the Three Amigos, Batman holds hands with a pineapple, a cow runs down the street, and a piece of pizza eats a carmel apple. Halloween is a time where the wacky and unusual run wild.

Children from around the neighborhood dress up with one common purpose- to get as much candy as possible. Most people think that Halloween is a time for everyone, but is Halloween as inclusive as people think?

If instead of passing out heavenly goodies, people gave out rocks, nobody would be too keen on braving the cold October weather to collect them. But for the 5.9 million children with food allergies that keep them from enjoying some of the divine treats kids go door to door for, candy is about the same as getting a rock. It is something that has no worth to them.

People don’t think of children with allergies when they pick out the goodies they are going to pass out on Halloween, meaning children with severe allergies are walking door to door in costumes with no delicious reward at every stop. Those children might stop trick or treating earlier than other children.

Having a candy with an ingredient that a kid is allergic to is more common than razor blades, but nobody seems all that concerned. According to the Food Allergy Research and Education Organization, a food allergy sends someone to the emergency room every three minutes. Children with allergies are going door to door picking up a personalized poison that could potentially make them one of those unlucky people sent to the ER.

This doesn’t mean we should  shut down a holiday enjoyed by millions and invoke the wrath of young tricksters that didn’t get their Halloween sweets. There is a better option that works to make Halloween a time for everyone.

A project has come up to help with the rising group of kids with food allergies called the Teal Pumpkin Project.

The first thing someone has to do to take part in this initiative is paint a pumpkin teal to put on their front porch on Halloween. People with teal pumpkins are supposed to pass out toys or small gifts to kids with allergies. The pumpkin signals to trick-or-treaters with food allergies that there is something  for them there.

Although some people think that the Teal Pumpkin takes away from an important Halloween tradition,  the people can still pass out regular candy. The Teal Pumpkin Project isn’t about taking candy from kids, it’s about giving to kids who can’t have regular candies and making Halloween fun for everyone.

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