Trick-or-treaters might notice something special this year on front porches – teal pumpkins. Homes with pumpkins painted teal have non-food treats for children with food allergies.
Lois Witkop of Food Allergy Research & Education says the goal of the Teal Pumpkin Project is to make sure all kids have a fun and safe Halloween. “With one in 13 children in America living with a food allergy, the likelihood that there is a child in your community that is living with a food allergy is pretty high,” Witkop explained.
For moms of children with food allergies, like Natasha Burman, this time of year can be challenging. “Halloween is hard, really hard, the hardest probably holiday because they’re going door to door and they’re getting treats that could potentially be deadly to them,” Burman said.
She’ll never forget her son’s first food allergy reaction.
“He grabbed my husband’s peanut butter and jelly sandwich and he started swelling up, his lips, and started coughing and so we knew pretty much right away that he was reacting to it,” Burman remembered.
Now, she is careful about every food and every candy in her home. She bought puzzles and toys to hand out this Halloween – and a teal pumpkin sits outside her door. “It gives my kids a sense of joy that somebody could come to our house and we could have something safe for them.”
To read more about the Teal Pumpkin Project, click here.