Turquoise pumpkins signal safe treats for allergic kids this Halloween
This Halloween, a brightly colored turquoise pumpkin might be more than just a decorative twist. Allergies Québec, a prominent advocacy group, has launched an initiative encouraging households to paint their pumpkins turquoise or to prominently display the initiative’s poster as a symbol of offering goodies like small trinkets or toys instead of candy. This initiative aims to make the spooky festivities more inclusive for children who suffer from food allergies.
A press release states that every year, Halloween poses a significant risk to children with food allergies due to the distribution of potentially allergenic products. However, the #MyTurquoisePumpkin campaign, now in its 6th edition, hopes to change that. The movement, which began in the U.S. in 2014, has seen remarkable global uptake, with participants from nearly fifteen countries joining in to support allergic children.
Dominique Seigneur, the Director of Development and Communications at Allergies Québec, highlighted the urgency of the issue. “With up to 8% of young Quebec children living with food allergies, and an alarming 18% increase in this demographic, the #MyTurquoisePumpkin initiative couldn’t be timelier. Halloween provides a fantastic opportunity for us to raise awareness about this growing health concern,” she stated.
The dangers of food allergies are real and can be life-threatening. Statistics show that up to 75 per cent of individuals with peanut allergies have had accidental exposure. In Canada, there’s a growing list of identified allergens. The top ten, responsible for many severe allergic reactions, include peanuts, wheat, milk, mustard, nuts, eggs, fish and seafood, sesame, soy, and sulfites. In total, Canada recognizes over 160 allergenic foods.
This Halloween, Allergies Québec urges households to be part of the solution, making the holiday safer and more inclusive for all children.