Teal Pumpkin Project encourages safe Halloween for children with food allergies

DOTHAN, Ala. (WTVY) — Halloween is one of the most exciting times of the year but many kids aren’t able to participate because they have a food allergy.

That's why one mom is asking everyone to participate in The Teal Pumpkin Project.

Leah Arkle loves Halloween.

Her kids, Collins and Wynn adore their costumes.

But, for them trick or treating is different.

Leah says, "They go trick or treating, and love it but at the end of the day, they can't have any of it."

Because Collins and Wynn have food allergies, Leah works hard getting the word out.

Teal pumpkins began in 2011.

Here’s how it works: You put a teal pumpkin outside your door and that lets families know that you have non-food items.

Lauren Morris is a doctor at Southeastern Pediatrics.

She says, "We are seeing a lot more children diagnosed with food allergies, Nuts, eggs, soy, wheat."

Leah says, "All kids love to have a bouncy ball or a glow bracelet, or a Band-Aid. They get candy at every house so it just breaks it up."

If you don’t have a teal pumpkin, you can put a flyer on your door to let parents know you have prizes inside.

"There is a lot of anxiety leading up to the day, you know they want to get dressed up and go door to door but the likelihood of them getting a treat they can actually have is slim."

Leah says her kids eyes light up every time they go to a house that has a teal pumpkin.

She says, "You just want them to feel like everyone else, because they are like everyone else. There are just things that are really harmful to them if they eat it."

You can print a flyer here: https://www.foodallergy.org/education-awareness/teal-pumpkin-project/free-resources

Or go by Southeastern Pediatrics and they will give you one.