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Teal Pumpkin Project raises awareness for kids with food allergies

Tonight kids will be putting on their favorite costumes hoping to get as many treats as they can. For some kids, those treats can be a safety hazard.

Posted: Oct 31, 2019 12:52 PM
Updated: Oct 31, 2019 6:24 PM

MEDFORD, Ore. -- Tonight kids will be putting on their favorite costumes hoping to get as many treats as they can. For some kids, those treats can be a safety hazard. 

The Teal Pumpkin Project started as a way for families to find food-allergy friendly homes on Halloween. This way kids with allergies, diseases, or feeding tubes can join in the fun. 

The teal pumpkin signifies that you have non-food treats for kids such as stickers, bubbles, or glow sticks. 

Jason and Kelsey Bell-Bechtol from Medford are participating for the first time this year with their young son Copeland. 

"We want to, as a home giving out candy and treats, be able to give it to as many children as possible and not ruin the fun for kids who have allergies, or are vegan like we are," said Kelsey Bell-Bechtol. 

The CDC says one in thirteen kids in the United States has a food allergy. The Teal Pumpkin Project says the goal of this not to take away from the candy tradition on Halloween, but to make sure all kids can stay safe while having fun. 

"You can still do candy as long as you keep them separate from non-food items, or you have that awareness of children with allergies or special needs," said Kelsey Bell-Bechtol. 

The Bell-Bechtols came from Portland, where they say there were more than 500 homes with teal pumpkins placed outside on Halloween. 

Here in Southern Oregon, there's only a handful. Kelsey tells NewsWatch12 she hopes this inspires more homes to participate next year, so kids like her son Copeland can enjoy the holiday. 

"We want to make sure that he has that normal, fun experience with all of the holidays and traditions for children," said Kelsey. 

To find a Teal Pumpkin Project home near you, click here. 

To print out a free Teal Pumpkin Project sign for your yard, click here. 

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