How neighborhoods across America are making Halloween safer for kids with allergies.
What they definitely shouldn't be worrying about? How scary a trip to the ER could be after an allergic reaction.
But for children with food allergies (and their parents), the joys of running door to door and asking for a trick or a treat can be overwhelmed by the stress of a seriously dangerous reaction to the ingredients in the candy.
That's where the Teal Pumpkin Project comes in.
A few years ago in East Tennessee, neighbors came together to raise awareness for food allergies. How? By placing teal pumpkins outside their doors on Halloween to signify that those houses are safe for trick-or-treaters who have allergies.
Any tiny ghost, little Superman, or mini Princess Elsa could stop by a teal pumpkin house to get a non-food treat, like a small toy or a glow stick.
Why you may be seeing lots of teal pumpkins this Halloween. http://t.co/cZJBeFj3qa#tealpumpkinprojectpic.twitter.com/8zvE4uzrdv
— Mashable Lifestyle (@mashlifestyle) October 3, 2015
The Teal Pumpkin Project took off running, and this is the second year that Food Allergy Research and Education (FARE) has promoted it nationally.
"Halloween can be a tricky time for families managing food allergies because many traditional Halloween treats aren't safe for children with life-threatening food allergies," FARE's website explains. “This nationwide movement offers an alternative for kids with food allergies, as well as other children for whom candy is not an option, and keeps Halloween a fun, positive experience for all!"
This year, #TealPumpkinProject has even started trending on Facebook and Twitter, and hundreds have tweeted their support of the project.
It's the most wonderful time of the year! #tealpumpkinprojectpic.twitter.com/2weY5hXAHA
— Sara (@Sar_E_Bear) September 26, 2015
Want to be a part of the Teal Pumpkin Project? Of course you do. Here's how.
First, paint a pumpkin teal or print out one of the signs on FARE's website to show neighborhood kids and parents that you're an allergen-free trick-or-treat stop.
@FoodAllergy Our #Halloween with the #TealPumpkinProject was a huge success! Lots of happy kids! Thx for the idea! pic.twitter.com/qOTQMLGGon
— Stephanie Sorkin (@stephsorkin) November 1, 2014
Craft Your Way to the Perfect Teal Pumpkin: DIY Tutorial #tealpumpkinprojecthttp://t.co/JyFzTxylnkpic.twitter.com/sX9r5S3fF7
— FARE (@FoodAllergy) October 4, 2015
Then, pick up some allergen-free treats for the kids coming to your door. Toys, stickers, temporary tattoos, boxes of crayons ... the options are pretty much limitless.
Loved seeing the kids having fun with the #tealpumpkinproject at the FARE @FoodAllergy walk today! 😀👍 pic.twitter.com/6N5G53BM1v
— Mothernova (@Mothernova) October 4, 2015
Just don't get lost in the toy aisle!
Being a kid isn't always easy, especially if you're a kid with food allergies.
And it can be even harder on the children's high holiday of Halloween. Thanks to the Teal Pumpkin Project, neighbors can now help each other keep their children safe, and kids with allergies don't have to miss out on the fun. That's pretty great.