HEALTH WATCH: Halloween Food Allergies

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FAIRBANKS, Alaska - For many kids, Halloween is the greatest night of the year, but for kids with food allergies, it can be a bit of a struggle.
Rhiannon Walker explores food allergies and Halloween in this week's Health Watch.

With Halloween right around the corner, it is a good time to call attention to the Teal Pumpkin Project.
This initiative was founded to make trick-or-treating more inclusive to children who may have food allergies.
According to Doctor Timothy Foote, an allergist at Tanana Valley Clinic, the most common food allergies in young children are milk, egg, wheat, soy, and peanuts. In older children, those allergies expand to include shrimp, fish and tree nuts.
Food allergies can cause Anaphylaxis, which is rapid in onset and can be fatal. But there are some ways to help.
Doctor Foote talked about the study released that claims introducing an infant to peanut butter as early as 4 months can lessen the chances of allergy development.

Timothy Foote; Allergist at Tanana Valley Clinic>>"There is absolutely merit to that study, the L-E-A-P Study that is called. And introducing peanut to the right child in the right way, decreases the risk of peanut allergy by 85 percent."

He also talked about research being done on whether or not this approach could ring true for other allergens.

Timothy Foote; Allergist at Tanana Valley Clinic>>"There is research about desensitizing for milk, egg and tree-nuts, and again it is in the research phases and so we are waiting anxiously for that to come our way."

So this Halloween, you can help make it a safe day for all children by handing out non-food or non-allergen goodies, and signifying you are an allergy friendly home by placing a teal pumpkin on your porch.
For this week's Health Watch, I'm Rhiannon Walker.