Teal Pumpkin Project makes Halloween safe for kids with allergies

Photo: WKRN
Photo: WKRN

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – Some trick or treaters got an early start to the fun Sunday as many area churches held trunk or treat events.

Donelson Heights United Methodist Church made an effort to make this Halloween safe for kids with allergies.

Trick or treating is all about candy for many. However, according to Food Allergy Research and Education (FARE), 1 in 13 children have a food allergy, making trick or treating difficult for little ones like Ezio Singer.

“He’s allergic to peanuts,” Amelia Davenport explained of her 3 year old.

She has to separate his candy and keep a close eye on Ezio to make sure he doesn’t open the wrapper of anything with nuts.

“Complicated. You have to separate everything and with having two older sisters, it’s very hard,” she told News 2.

It can mean the difference in life or death for some children.

“The first time his eyes swelled up, his eyes got blood shot. He was having a hard time breathing. It was just scary.”

That’s why Davenport was happy to find the party of the Teal Pumpkin Project.

Teal pumpkins are placed among the orange ones, meaning there are allergy sensitive treats for the little ones.

“Halloween is an especially difficult time for kids with food allergies, so we really wanted to make sure that they could be included in this event.” explained Cayla Eastman, who organized the trunk or treat in Donelson.

She said while peanuts are one of the more common allergies, there are many others, like gluten. Some children can’t have any candy at all. That’s why they are offering non-food treats like bracelets and glow sticks.

Teal is the color of food allergy awareness.

The Teal Pumpkin Project was inspired by a group in East Tennessee. The national campaign launched in 2014.

For more information on the project, click here.