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Homes with a teal pumpkin or a teal pumpkin sign out front are letting parents and neighbors know that they are offering non-food treats for trick-or-treaters with food allergies.

It's simple, if you are willing to give out non-food items, like low-cost toys, place a teal-painted pumpkin or free sign at your front door.

According to the Food Allergy Research & Education (FARE) organization, 5.9 million children under age 18, or 1 in 13 kids, suffer from food hypersensitivities.

For Westlake, Ohio, mom Vikki Meldrum, the Teal Pumpkin Project has already provided an unforgettable experience for her and her 4-year-old daughter Lyla.

"One in 13 children in the US has at least one food allergy, and reports show that anaphylactic food reactions have climbed dramatically in recent years", said Lois Witkop, chief advancement officer with Food Allergy Research and Education. Saturday, locals went to Lynn Haven United Methodist Church's pumpkin patch for the 4th Annual Teal Pumpkin Paint Party.

"Food allergies can be life-threatening and even a small amount can make a person have a reaction", said Guerrera.

Pumpkins are painted in teal, which is the color of food allergy awareness, and is the nationally recognized color of this medical condition.

Hess and his family have been collecting pumpkins and painting them teal for the past three years.

There is also a map available for parents to check out where other households are participating in the city.

Can I still hand out candy? Meldrum spread the word about the initiative among her neighbors, who have now shown their support for the last two years, with at least 30 teal pumpkins in her own neighborhood.


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