The story behind the teal pumpkin

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SAN DIEGO -- Some children who have one food allergy or another tend to have an especially difficult time managing those food allergies around Halloween with trick-or-treating.

The Teal Pumpkin Project is an initiative to help kids with food allergies on Halloween. The idea behind it is to raise awareness about food allergies.

"The idea there is you would be having non-food treats for kids with food allergies so they hopefully don't have any kind of reaction," allergist Dr. Nathan Hare said.

Dr. Hare said if you see a teal pumpkin on someone's porch, it is a safe place for children with food allergies to trick or treat. Good news for Josh Zimmerman, whose son Issac is severely allergic to peanuts and tree nuts.

"When he was younger, we used to go around ahead of time to the houses he would trick or treat at, put a nice little dinosaur sticker on the bag," Zimmerman said. "He would knock and ask for safe treats that we would provide ahead of time."

Zimmerman called the Teal Pumpkin Project a blessing.

"Trying to tell someone so young they can't go trick or treating when all their friends are doing it, it's just a killer.
he said. "Have that nice little teal pumpkin out or a poster letting you know it's safe, terrific."

The top three food allergies are milk, egg, and peanut, Dr. Hare said.  About  100,000  households participated in the Teal Pumpkin Project last year.

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