Health Issues and Halloween Candy
For kids and teens with allergies to common ingredients found in candy such as nuts and gluten, Halloween can be a challenging time.
The Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America [AAFA] lists the eight most common allergies in the U.S as milk, soy, eggs, wheat, peanuts, tree nuts, fish, and shellfish. Granted, most Halloween candy does not contain sealife, but the other seven allergens are conventionally used in some candies.
According to the AAFA, some 6 million children have food allergies, and 38.7 percent of them have a history of severe reactions.
“Dairy free people can’t eat a lot of chocolate that’s given out, so I think that affects them a lot.” Olivia Sweeney ‘19 said.
Efforts to combat allergy related accidents include the Teal Pumpkin Project [TPP], which was started in Tennessee in 2014 and had 50 states and 14 counties participate last year.
“The Teal Pumpkin Project promotes safety, inclusion and respect of individuals managing food allergies. This worldwide movement offers an alternative for kids with food allergies, as well as other children for whom candy is not an option. It keeps Halloween a fun, positive experience for all!” The TPP said on their website.
The project encourages households to provide non-food treats such as small, inexpensive toys as an alternative to candy to let Trick-or-Treaters know that non-food items are available.