WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Even without the witches, wizards and goblins, Halloween can be very scary for children with food allergies. The Teal Pumpkin Project hopes to help raise awareness about this issue.
Luke Ertzberger, 9, is allergic to eggs, nuts, shellfish, dairy, dogs, cats and even grass. His allergies make Trick-or-Treating nearly impossible.
“It feels like I’m breathing through a little straw, and my throat swells up,” Luke said.
His mom, Heather, says this year their Halloween celebrating will be safe — thanks to the project.
“The deal is, is to paint or spray paint, however you want to get a pumpkin teal and put that pumpkin out in front of your house along with a sign that says you’re participating. And what that means is that you would have non-food treats for Halloween for kids that have food allergies,” Ertzberger said.
“For some kids, even just touching the candy can be dangerous. For most, if they got it, they would just have to get rid of it or trade it in order to participate, so this gives them a way to get their own treats and their pumpkins that they would be able to keep and to enjoy,” Ertzberger added.
But for kids like Luke, his allergies will not affect his Halloween spirit.
“When I was one, we started passing out candy to places like nursing homes and offices instead of doing trick-or-treating because of my food allergies,” Luke said.
To learn more about the Teal Pumpkin Project, click here for more information.