National News

Teal pumpkins are saving lives of trick-or-treaters across the nation

Posted October 25, 2017 10:59 a.m. EDT

— As Halloween creeps closer, there's a scary part of the holiday that can mean life or death for some young people.

One in 13 children has a food allergy which can make trick or treating anything but fun, but a national initiative is providing help.

It's called the Teal Pumpkin Project. The organization Food Allergy Research and Education, (FARE) made it a national initiative four years ago.

A teal pumpkin in front of a home means it offers non-food items to trick or treaters so those with allergies don't have to miss out on the fun.

Buckhead resident Tyler Wells is ready to go with bubbles and toys he will hand out. He heard about the project this year and is now trying to get his whole neighborhood on board.

"When I read about it, it just really touched my heart honestly," he said. "I just felt like if I was a kid how I would feel if I went trick or treating and couldn't enjoy part of Halloween."

It's part of a nationwide effort to raise awareness of food allergies and include children who are affected.

Dr. Jennifer Shih is an allergist and immunologist with Children's Healthcare of Atlanta.

"It's very serious, we're talking about death even for people who have a real food allergy," she said. "Sometimes you get throat closing, you could stop breathing and vomiting, and hives and those things can lead to potential death."

She recommends parents read all labels and have a plan in place just in case of an allergic reaction.

Wells said he hopes kids and parents walk away from house feeling good.

"I hope that they feel just as excited as if they didn't have any allergies going trick or treating," he said.

Those interested in participating can purchase teal pumpkins or paint them.