The Teal Pumpkin Project, a new sign of safety at Halloween

SASKATOON РIn just three days time, little goblins and ghouls will be heading out for a fun-filled evening of trick-or-treating. Halloween can also be a challenging occasion for families with children living with food allergies.

Even frightening for Katriona Mitchell if her son, eight and a half-year-old James were to eat anything containing wheat, barley or rye.

“It’s a life-threatening allergy so it’s a matter of life or death,” said Katriona.

James has had three full blown anaphylactic reactions in his lifetime. All three required trips to the hospital and the third time was as a result of James being accidentally fed regular bread instead of gluten-free.

Devin Sauer/Global News

Traditional treats at Halloween could trigger a fourth visit to an emergency department for James which is why the Mitchell’s will be placing a teal pumpkin outside their home.

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The simple concept lets other children with food allergies know they’ll be giving out non-food items for the second year in a row.

READ MORE: Halloween safety tips for the young and old

“I went kinda crazy shopping this year, I’ve got things from toothbrushes to pencils, erasers, notebooks, colouring pages, blowing bubbles, stamps, stickers, glow sticks,” added Katriona.

Launched just last year in United States, the “Teal Pumpkin Project” keeps children living with food allergies safe without missing out on the fun festivities.

“Every year when my son goes trick-or-treating, we come home and sort through his candy and the majority of it, he can’t have, ” said Katriona.

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“He’s a really good sport about it because this has been his life but I just love the idea of being able to include everybody.”

As many as six per cent of children live with a food allergy which means there’s a good chance one will come to your door Saturday evening.

“I think kids that have any sort of condition that they’re dealing with often feel a little unsure about it or sometimes feel isolated and this is just a way to kinda keep them included in everything.”

In September evidence showed trips to emergency departments for potentially life-threatening allergic reaction were on the rise across the country, up 95 per cent in the last seven years.

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