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Trick-or-treating with allergies? Teal pumpkins help the struggle

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MILWAUKEE (WITI) -- There's a push this year to add a different kind of Halloween decoration to the front of your house. A pumpkin painted teal -- it's all about keeping kids with food allergies safe while they're trick-or-treating.

Deb Shultz and her son are getting ready for Halloween. It's one of Patrick's favorite holidays, because trick-or-treating means one thing for most kids -- candy. But all those goodies must not contain eggs or milk if Patrick wants to enjoy them.

"I stop breathing and then I get an EpiPen and then I would have to go to the hospital," said Patrick.

When Patrick was just 18-months-old he suffered an allergic reaction.

"We can't take the chance, he's anaphylactic, he will stop breathing, it isn't fun, it happened once we don't want to see my child turn blue again," said Deb Schultz.

So this year they are painting their pumpkin teal. It's an idea to keep trick-or-treating safer for kids with food allergies that's picking up momentum on social media. The teal pumpkins will alert kids that their house is a safe place for children with allergies because the homeowner will pass out things other than candy. Participants across the country are sharing their teal pumpkin photos all over twitter.

"We think this is absolutely awesome that FARE has started this," said Deb.

In years past this holiday was a struggle to find candy Patrick could enjoy.

"When he gets back we divvy it up and literally it's a bag of candy, and last year we could hold it in our hand, the handful he could have," said Deb.

And so trick-or-treating was a scary thing for Deb, but not this year.

"I'm much more at ease this year, I'm much happier this year," Deb said.

Because the teal pumpkin is a sign that even at the scariest house, kids won't be haunted by the threats inside. As for Patrick, he's got his eye set on one thing -- the teal pumpkin.

Teal is the color for food allergy awareness. The project began last year by a local food allergy chapter in Tennessee, this is the first year it's gone nationwide.

You're encouraged to put a teal-painted pumpkin outside your door if you are offering non-food treats for kids with allergies. Another option, download the non-food treats Halloween poster and put it on your door or window.

CLICK HERE to learn more about the Teal Pumpkin Project.