Halloween and Food Allergies

Trick-or- treaters will be soon be out, looking for edible bounty. One out of twelve children suffer food allergies, and must relinquish their treasure. Food Allergy Research & Education is promoting the Teal Pumpkin Project. Placing a teal pumpkin on your porch signals that you will offer “prizes” in addition to candy, allowing all children to enjoy the event.

Signs and symptoms: Allergies to dairy products and peanuts are most common, causing an itchy red rash. More severe cases may cause swelling of the lips, tongue, or throat. In rare cases, respiratory arrest can be fatal.

What to do: Antihistamines and steroids are effective in most cases. Epipens are injectable treatments for patients that suffer severe respiratory problems when exposed. Avoidance is crucial. Place a teal colored pumpkin on your porch, or go to www.foodallergy.org. and download an approved logo. Have a bowl of toys, bubbles, kazoos and other prizes beside the candy bowl.

Thought for the day: Start a tradition with a pumpkin of teal. For kids with allergies, it could be a big deal.

What’s Going Around is contributed by family practice doctor Kyle Scarborough, M.D. You can reach him at drscarborough@familylifemedical.com.

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