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How a teal pumpkin can save a child's life

When you have a child with allergies, the fun and excitement of Halloween can become overshadowed by the haunting worry about hidden ingredients and undisclosed allergens in the candy your little one collects.

Some children with ADHD or autism also have certain dietary restrictions that prohibit eating candy, especially in the quantity involved around Halloween.

For these children, Halloween is a time of frustration instead of celebration.

 >> Read more trending stories  

FARE (Food, Allergy, Research & Education) and the Teal Pumpkin Project understand the challenges parents and children face during this candy-filled holiday, and have continued a nationwide movement to offer an alternative for children who cannot partake in the usual fare.

By encouraging families to offer non-food options this Halloween, like scented pencils, stickers, small toys and erasers, the Teal Pumpkin Project hopes to transform this holiday into something every child can enjoy and participate in.

Want to take part? Here's how you can have a safe and fun Halloween this year!

 

  • Join more than 100,000 families by pledging your support for the Teal Pumpkin Project.
  • Paint and display a teal pumpkin, which shows that you support allergy awareness and a food-free Halloween. Make sure to print out a free sign from FARE to place next to your pumpkin.
  • Offer only non-food items at your door for trick-or-treaters this year.

If you really want to help take charge of Halloween, you can spread awareness of Halloween-related food allergies by holding your own fundraiser. The Teal Pumpkin Project suggests a few easy ways to raise money, including hosting your own pumpkin walk, a teal pumpkin painting party, a teal-painted pumpkin sale, neighborhood collections, and having a food and candy-free Halloween party.

 

For more information, contact FARE and Teal Pumpkin Project at 1-800-929-4040.

 

Children dismissed from private school because parents have open marriage

Akia Brown released her self-published memoir in February. A few months later, she learned her decision to reveal her life in print would get her children dismissed from their school.

>> Read more trending news 

The book, “Beyond Love,” details Brown’s journey from a single parent in Detroit to her current life as a mother of six in Atlanta who said she is happy in an open marriage with her husband.

It took a few months for news of her book to travel to administrators at Mount Paran Christian School in Kennesaw, Georgia, where her daughter had been a student for two years and her son was set to begin pre-kindergarten this fall.

In late July, Brown received a call from two administrators at the school. Via speaker phone, they told her that her daughter would not be allowed to return and her son was being denied admission.

Mount Paran is a private Christian, nondenominational, college preparatory day school that serves students ages 3-12. Parents are required to sign a covenant agreement upon enrollment, school officials said. The admission policy states:

The applicant and his/her parents must express a belief of biblical teachings, and a willingness to follow them, as well as student and parent’s affirmation of faith. Parents and students must read and agree to support the Statement of Faith (p. 4-5 in parent/student handbook on MPCS website), commit to uphold Christian principles in their daily lives, and actively participate in a local church body. As a covenant Christian school, MPCS reserves the right to determine whether Mount Paran Christian School is an appropriate placement for the applicant and/or the family. MPCS reserves the right to deny acceptance, terminate, or suspend enrollment of students at the school’s discretion with non-disclosure of reasons.

In this case, the school did give a reason -- Brown and her husband’s open marriage -- but Brown wanted the opportunity to plead her case.

“They haven’t even read the book. I don’t know how they even found out about the book,” Brown said.

She said her daughter, a shy first-grader, was flourishing at Mount Paran and misses her friends. She and her husband had made sure their children were supported academically and socially, she said.

In the book, Brown describes her nontraditional life. Her husband, Brian Maurice Brown, was incarcerated for almost 10 years on drug charges. In 2012, he started BMB Records, which has hosted a roster of hip-hop artists including Charli Baltimore and Ray J.

According to a recent story in the Detroit News, the company has been under investigation by the Drug Enforcement Administration since 2013. Brian Maurice Brown has not been charged with a drug-related crime.

Over the years, their relationship evolved from husband and wife to one between her, her husband and at least two other women, which they refer to as “wife-in-laws.” In the vein of urban nonfiction, Brown offers salacious details, but she contends the book is about unconditional love.

Brown said she was able to enroll her children in a new Christian school. She told the school administrators right upfront what happened and explained her views, an opportunity she said she never had at Mount Paran.

“Yes, (the book) discusses open marriage – or what others may consider an open marriage – but the real meaning and everything I have ever talked about is unconditional love and having a forgiving heart,” Brown said.

Too sexy? High school dance team's costumes spark controversy

A South Florida high school team is going viral, and it’s not because of their dance moves

>> Watch the news report here

The Miami Northwestern Senior High School’s dance team’s costumes have been stirring up some controversy because some believe they’re too sexy for the young students.

>> Read more trending news

Several videos of the teens dancing have been posted online, which sparked the debate. 

Some social media users don’t see a problem with the costumes and say people should be focusing on their dancing, not what they’re wearing.

Others thought the outfits looked more like lingerie and were not appropriate for girls 18 and younger. 

However, parents and guardians of the students approved of the costumes and don’t see an issue. 

“If they're dancers, they're entertainers,” one grandparent, Debbie Frasier, told WPLG. “So if you have the same problem, you have the problem with Beyonce or young child stars who dress that way on national television.”

Prince George is already sick of going to school, Prince William reveals

Prince George hasn’t even been in school for a full three weeks yet, and he’s already tired of it, said his father, Prince William, according to Vanity Fair.

>> Prince William, Kate Middleton expecting third child

“I just dropped George off, and he didn’t want to go,” the royal told another parent at Thomas’s Battersea School during a visit to Milton Keynes on Tuesday for the town’s 50th anniversary, People reported.

>> On Rare.us: The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge may be the parents, but Prince George 'rules the roost'

“It was really exciting meeting William,” said Louise Smith, the mom of two who chatted up the future king, according to "Entertainment Tonight." “He told me he’d just dropped Prince George off at school and he didn’t want to go. Sounds a bit like mine, really.”

>> On Rare.us: Prince William jokes about his baldness to a hairstylist

Prince William has been tasked with taking his son to school while Duchess Kate suffers from Hyperemesis gravidarum, a severe form of morning sickness, as she did with her two previous pregnancies. On Prince George’s first day of school earlier this month, his father predicted the day would quickly come when the little royal was no longer excited to spend time in the classroom.

>> Read more trending news

“We are all seeing how long that lasts before he doesn’t want to go,” he joked at the time. And it didn’t take long.

Laughing gas through labor? More hospitals offering nitrous oxide for moms-to-be

Seton Medical Center in Austin, Texas, has just added to a handful of its labor and delivery rooms something you might think of as only being used at the dentist’s office: nitrous oxide aka laughing gas.

Why? Moms in labor in Europe have been using laughing gas for decades, and it’s recently gaining favor in the U.S., especially in California. Natural birthing centers like Austin Area Birthing Center and Natural Beginning Birth Center in Texas have been offering nitrous oxide to their patients, as well. The hospitals are starting to catch up.

Laughing gas doesn’t have some of the side effects (the loopiness and loss of control) that narcotics like Demerol or other pain medications have, and it doesn’t affect the baby’s heart rate. The only thing that could happen is nausea or vomiting for the mom, but that’s rare.

It’s also short-acting. A mom can put the laughing gas mask to her face just before a contraction starts or during a contraction and then remove the mask after it’s passed. She will only feel the effects of the gas when she’s breathing it in.

>> Read more trending news

She can’t overdose either, because she’s the one holding the mask to her face. If she got too much, she wouldn’t be able to continue to hold the mask to her face because she would be asleep.

If you’ve had laughing gas in the dentist office and didn’t like how you felt, this is a different formula. It’s a 50 percent nitrogen, 50 percent oxygen for moms in labor. For people in the dentist office, it’s a 70 percent nitrogen 30 percent oxygen formula.

It actually doesn’t stop the mom from feeling the labor pain. She just doesn’t care about the pain, says Dr. Sally Grogono, an obstetrician at Seton Medical Center.

“I think it’s amazing,” says Grogono, who helped encourage Seton to add the nitrous oxide hookups in the rooms.

“A lot of our natural labor moms just need something little to take the edge off,” she says.

Sometimes women can stall out in labor because they are tensing because of the pain. This would help them not do that.

“Childbirth is very anxiety producing for all the patients,” Grogono says. Because they control when and how often they are getting the gas, they have more control over the pain.

They usually only use it at the height of labor but don’t need it during the pushing stage.

The only women who should not use it are people with multiple sclerosis or a severe B-12 deficiency.

Since Seton began offering it two weeks ago, Grogono has heard good reports from the labor and delivery nurses. She’s now educating her patients that it’s an option for them. They would just have to request that they be put in a room that has it.

“It’s not going to work for everybody, but it’s a great tool for our patients,” Grogono says.

Baby whose mom gave up cancer treatment also dies

The baby girl born to a mother who gave up cancer treatment to save her has died, the family announced in a Facebook post.

Life Lynn DeKlyen was born on Sept. 6 at 24 weeks in Ann Arbor, Michigan, weighing just 1 pound, 7 ounces. Her family said in a Facebook post they are shattered over the loss.

>> On HotTopics.TV: Mom who gave up cancer treatment to save unborn baby dies after giving birth 

Life Lynn’s mother, Carrie, was diagnosed with glioblastoma in April but decided to forgo treatment to save her baby. Shortly after delivering Life via cesarean section, doctors took Carrie off life support. Carrie died a few days later. She and her husband, Nick DeKlyen, had six children.

>> Read more trending news

“Carrie is now rocking her baby girl,” the family wrote in a post on the Cure 4 Carrie page announcing Life Lynn’s passing. “I have no explanation of why this happened, but I do know Jesus loves us, and someday we will know why. The grief we feel is almost unbearable, please be praying for our family.”

The family said Life Lynn will be buried with her mother.

The family has set up a GoFundMe page to raise money for medical expenses. If you would like to donate, click here.

Amazon baby registry emails baffle customers who aren't expecting

Many people online said they received notices Tuesday about gifts being purchased for their Amazon baby registry.

Problem is, in many cases the customers who received the notices said they don't have a registry – or a baby on the way.

“We are notifying affected customers," an Amazon spokeswoman said Tuesday evening. "A technical glitch caused us to inadvertently send a gift alert e-mail earlier today. We apologize for any confusion this may have caused.”

>> Read more trending news

“Hello Amazon Customer,” the screengrab of one of the messages read. “Someone great recently purchased a gift for your baby registry! You can visit your Thank You List to easily track all gifts purchased. PS: Remember some Gifters like when it’s still a surprise.”

There was a box where users could click through to a "Thank You List."

Many people who received the message tweeted about it with the hashtag #amazonbaby. Read some of the tweets below:

8-year-old football players kneel during national anthem in protest

Every player from an 8-and-under football team in Belleville, Illinois, took a knee in protest during the national anthem before their game on Saturday, according to KTVI.

>> Watch the news report here

“One of the kids asked me if I saw (people) protesting and rioting in St. Louis. I said yes; I said, ‘Do you know why they are doing it?'” said Coach Orlando Gooden during a phone interview with the news station on Tuesday.

>> See a photo of the protest here

Gooden told the news station that one of the players responded, “Because black people are getting killed and nobody’s going to jail.”

Gooden, a former football player at the University of Missouri, said his players were aware of the recent Jason Stockley decision, which saw an ex-St. Louis officer acquitted in a fatal shooting of a black driver and led to numerous protests.

>> Elderly woman knocked to ground by police during St. Louis protest

“I felt like it was a good teaching moment for me to circle the team and have a meeting,” he said.

Gooden said he spoke with his team about that and other situations that have taken place recently in the United States and explained why free agent quarterback Colin Kaepernick and others have knelt during the anthem in protest.

>> Read more trending news

“One of the kids asked, ‘Can we do that?’ I said, ‘As long as we know why we’re doing it, I don’t have a problem with any of it,'” he said.

According to the coach, the third-graders immediately took a knee as the anthem began, with their backs — unintentionally — away from the flag.

“What I teach my kids is love, integrity, honesty, fairness, respect and boundaries,” he said.

The players’ parents reportedly supported the coach’s decision to allow the team to take a knee; however, a Facebook post from his wife reveals that there has been some backlash from other residents in the area.

“As long as I have support of my parents and team, I’m perfectly fine, and I’m covered under the First Amendment to peacefully protest and assemble,” Gooden said.

Navy hospital employee accused of mishandling newborn babies: 'Sorry for offending'

Employees at Florida's Naval Hospital Jacksonville who reportedly posted a viral video of newborn babies “dancing” will likely face criminal charges.

>> Watch the news report here

The newborns were referred as “mini Satans” by the employees. 

When the employees posted the pictures of the baby’s face, that alone is a violation of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996. 

>> On ActionNewsJax.com: Navy hospital apologizes for staff's 'inappropriate' photos of newborns

Action News Jax Law and Safety Expert Dale Carson says the employees could be charged with more than a HIPPA violation. Carson said he believes this is a case of child abuse.

In the video, rap music from 50 Cent can be heard in the background as a staff member from Naval Hospital Jacksonville is seen making a newborn baby dance to the music. 

>> Watch the clip here

The woman who sent Action News Jax the Snapchat video also sent text messages detailing a conversation between her and the U.S. Navy employee.

The employee said: "We were being stupid and bored. Sorry for offending.”

But some parents were angry over the video. 

>> Read more Floridoh! stories

“That baby could have been seriously injured … all because she wanted to be popular on social media,” parent Regina Wortmann said. 

A photo was also posted showing a staff member making an obscene hand gesture and saying that was how she felt about the “mini Satans.” 

"She'll receive demerits and be punished in some way," Carson said.

Naval Hospital Jacksonville posted an apology via Facebook, calling the posts “outrageous.” 

>> Navy hospital apologizes for staff's 'inappropriate' photos of newborns

“We have identified the staff members involved,” the hospital said. “They have removed from patient care and they will be handled by the legal system and military justice.” 

Carson says the incident could be very costly. 

>> Read more trending news

“It’s clearly a HIPPA violation and probably the U.S. Navy and their medical system at NAS Jax can be sued over this,” Carson said. 

Action News Jax contacted the hospital for more information. Officials sent the station an email saying the public information officer is “attempting to respond to all requests in a timely matter.” 

>> Watch another news report here

Football players under 12 at high risk of brain injury, study finds

A new Boston University study published Tuesday found a single season of youth football can change a child's brain.

>> Watch the news report here

The findings focused on children 12 and under and, according to the study, those first 12 years of a child's life are critical to brain development.

That’s why any damage – no matter how small – could mean health concerns years later.

Youth football is a family tradition for many, but this new study out of BU has found the longer a child waits to play football, the better it is for their brain.

“There's really something specific about hitting your head over and over again at a young age and it is disrupting normal brain development,” the study’s lead author, Dr. Michael Alosco, said. 

>> On Boston25News.com: One youth football game results in five concussions

Researchers examined 214 amateur and professional football players and found those who started playing football before they were 12 years old were at higher risk for behavioral and cognitive problems.

“That's a critical period of brain development, especially in males,” said Alosco. 

According to the study, the risks for behavioral problems doubled and the risk for elevated depression tripled.

>> Read more trending news

Alosco told WFXT that their findings revealed any injury to a child's brain could result in permanent damage.

“We're talking about those tiny hits to the head, over and over repeatedly that don't necessarily result in symptoms, but we think are enough to cause injury to the brain,” he explained. 

Just earlier this summer, WFXT investigated the growing trend of youth flag football as many are families opting out of regular football because of health concerns.

“I just think it's a little too dangerous at their young age. They're so fragile,” parent Jeanine Hetzel said. 

>> On Boston25News.com: Despite new helmets, doctors warn of concussion risk for football players

WFXT asked Alosco whether he would recommend parents not let their child play youth football. He said more research needs to be done, but he did say one thing. 

“You just have to ask yourself: Do you really want your young kid to go out there and start hitting their head at such a young age – not even just football – in anything?” said Alosco. 

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