(NBC News) This Halloween teal pumpkins outside homes are more than just decoration.
For kids with life-threatening food allergies, they’re an indication it’s a safe place to trick-or treat.
That’s great for Braxton Mendoza, who suffers serious allergies.
“He’s allergic to dairy and peanuts,” his mother, Kristi, explains.
Candy with those ingredients, including chocolate, will trigger a dangerous reaction.
“I just look down and try not to say anything because I can’t eat that much stuff,” Braxton says.
The Teal Pumpkin Project is aiming to make sure kids with food allergies, like Braxton, don’t get left out.
Participating homes place a teal pumpkin outside, indicating inside they have candy and non-food treats.
“It could be the fun spider rings, glow sticks, stickers,” says Lisa Gable, CEO of Food Allergy Research and Education, or FARE. “Just be creative and find the things that fit the price of your pocketbook, but also something small that kids can easily pop into their bucket.”
Health experts advise parents of children with food allergies to pack an Epi-Pen before heading out, because mini and fun-size candies don’t have nutrition labels.
Ingredients and factory conditions may differ from those of full-size versions as well.