Over the last few years, you might have noticed more and more homes have teal pumpkins on their porches come Halloween. It’s more than a decorating trend: It’s a movement to help kids with allergies have a safe Halloween.
In 2012, a woman named Becky Basalone was pondering how to make Halloween less stressful for kids with food allergies. When exposure to nuts and other common ingredients in Halloween treats can send you to the hospital in a heartbeat, trick-or-treating without apprehension can be tough. Her idea? People could stock non-food items to hand out and place a pumpkin painted teal—the color used by food-allergy awareness groups—on their front step.
Her idea took off. In 2014, Food Allergy Research & Education (FARE), a non-profit dedicated to raising awareness of food allergies, teamed up with her to promote the idea.
So how can you participate? While you can read up on the Teal Pumpkin Project on the official site (and even print some cool signs to put in your window), participating is as simple as putting out a teal pumpkin—either by painting your own or picking up a pumpkin at one of the many big-box retailers that now carry them like Target—and stocking non-food treats to hand out.
Although you can hand out anything from little spooky trinkets to stickers to erasers, we think a great option is glow sticks. Not only is it cheap to buy hundreds of glow-stick bracelets, but kids also love them and anything that increases visibility on Halloween night helps keep everyone safe—in fact, glow sticks are our favorite Halloween safety hack.
For more ideas on what you can do—from sign ideas to treat ideas—check out our Teal Pumpkin Project guide.