The Teal Pumpkin Project® is a worldwide movement to create a safer, happier Halloween for all kids.

Putting a teal pumpkin on your doorstep means you have non-food treats available, such as glow sticks or small toys. This simple act promotes inclusion for trick-or-treaters with food allergies or other conditions. There are a few considerations when choosing which non-food items to hand out. First, some non-food items still contain food allergens, such as some brands of moldable clay, may contain wheat. Additionally, try to choose latex-free items, as there are children who have latex allergies.

Can I still hand out candy? Sure, just do it safely. The point of the Teal Pumpkin Project® is to make trick-or-treating as inclusive as possible. You can keep the experience safe by keeping your food treats and non-food treats in separate bowls.

If I’m handing out candy and non-food treats, how do I determine which treat to give to each trick-or-treater? You can either ask trick-or-treaters if they have any food allergies, or give every visitor a choice of which treat they’d like: candy or a non-food item.

Do kids really like non-food treats? They don’t just like them, they love them! Finding a unique treat at your house will be a fun surprise. Glow bracelets, for example, are a great option. They are inexpensive, kids can wear them throughout the night and parents are appreciative because they help make kids more visible after nightfall. Other non-food items, such as pencils and stickers, can be used at home and at school longer after candy has run out or expired.

If you would like a sign to put on you front door or in your yard announcing you have non-food items, please visit us at the Health Department and pick the one you like for free. Or, you can download and print your own at, foodallergy.org/education-awareness/teal-pumpkin-project, click on free resources and scroll through the items. You can select signs, Pumpkin stencils, coloring sheet, connect the dots, make a mask and many others. Download as many or as few as you like.

If you have any questions, need some additional information or would like to be a member of the Injury Prevention/DUI Task Force please contact Don Smies, Coordinator 406-433-2207. Check us out on Facebook, facebook.com/RichlandCountyHealthDepartment.

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