Along with traditional orange pumpkins, you may see some other colors decorating houses or carried while kids are out trick-or-treating this Halloween.

Halloween can be a tricky time for kids with food allergies (many candies contain allergens, such as nuts, which can be life-threatening), as well as children on the autism spectrum (who may get overwhelmed or be nonverbal).

So some parents are displaying teal pumpkins for food allergy awareness or using blue Halloween buckets for trick-or-treating, which have become the unofficial symbol for autism awareness.

Teal pumpkins placed in front of a house mean there are non-food treats for kids with food allergies, which allows them to safely participate in Halloween.

By placing a teal pumpkin on your doorstep, you are letting trick-or-treaters with food allergies and their families know that your house is food-allergy friendly which means offering non-food treats in addition to more traditional Halloween candy, making the holiday inclusive for all children who want to celebrate.

For non-food treats ideas, you could give glow sticks, bracelets, or necklaces; pencils, pens, crayons, or markers; bubbles; Halloween erasers or pencil toppers; mini slinkies; whistles, kazoos, or noisemakers; bouncy balls; finger puppets or novelty toys; mini notepads; or playing cards. The items can be found at dollar stores, party supply stores, or online shops.

Blue Halloween buckets are a subtle way to indicate that the child going trick-or-treating has autism. According to Yahoo lifestyle, It appears to have started with Alicia Plumer, a mom whose 21-year-old son BJ has the condition. Plumer’s Facebook post about her son using a blue Halloween bucket to raise awareness of autism went viral in 2018 with 28,000 shares. “While he has the body of a 21 year old, he loves Halloween,” Plumer wrote. “These precious people are not ‘too big’ to trick or treat.”

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