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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.

WATCH: Seahawks' Richard Sherman dresses as Harry Potter to talk football, Quidditch

In true Halloween spirit, Seattle Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman wore his Harry Potter costume, with wand in hand, to Wednesday’s news conference.

>> Watch the full press conference here

SB Nation reports that it was actually Sherman’s son's idea for his dad to dress up. But there's no doubt that Sherman is a legitimate Harry Potter fan:

  • Sherman says “Order of the Phoenix” is his favorite book.
  • He says that Quidditch is pretty tough compared to five quarters of football.
  • He considers himself a Gryffindor and not a Hufflepuff.
  • According to a New York Times article, he went to midnight screenings for the movies.

>> Read more trending stories

The Seahawks got first their first tie in franchise history Sunday against the Arizona Cardinals. 

>> Click here or scroll down to see some of the highlights from the press conference

<iframe src="//;border=false" width="100%" height="750" frameborder="no" allowtransparency="true"></iframe> <script src="//;border=false"></script> [View the story "WATCH: Seahawks' Richard Sherman dresses as Harry Potter to talk football, Quidditch" on Storify]

>> Check out other great celebrity Halloween costumes here

<iframe src="//;border=false&amp;template=slideshow" width="100%" height="750" frameborder="no" allowtransparency="true"></iframe> <script src="//;border=false&amp;template=slideshow"></script> [View the story "Celebs celebrate Halloween" on Storify]

Must-see: NICU babies get adorable Halloween treat – tiny costumes

These tiny trick-or-treaters are warming hearts around the country.

According to ABC News, March of Dimes volunteers teamed up with nurses at St. Luke's Hospital in Kansas City, Missouri, to help NICU babies and their families celebrate Halloween with handmade costumes and other goodies. 

>> Watch the news report here

<script height="219px" width="390px" src=";ec=90bDUwNzE6hLkT4jOewD_JYbQBlZvZ-h"></script>

“The parents were able to choose their baby’s costumes to match the baby’s personalities,” hospital spokeswoman Michelle Manuel told ABC News. “The idea is to be able to allow parents to have a sense of normalcy."

>> Read more trending stories

Families also received a Halloween card with their costumed cutie's footprints, a Halloween book and candy inside a crocheted pumpkin.

Jennifer Behnke, whose son, William, has been in the NICU since August, called the Halloween treat "amazing."

>> Need something to lift your spirits? Read more uplifting news

"It's very humbling, and we feel very blessed to have so many people on our side and helping us – and making everyday experiences and milestones feel normal while still being in the hospital here," Behnke told WDAF-TV.

Read more here or here.

>> Click here or scroll down to see the adorable photos

<iframe src="//;border=false" width="100%" height="750" frameborder="no" allowtransparency="true"></iframe> <script src="//;border=false"></script> [View the story "NICU Halloween" on Storify]

Loving dad transforms son's wheelchair into 'Ghostbusters' Halloween costume

Jeremy Miller’s dad designs the best Halloween costumes for him, and we think this year’s costume is the most impressive yet.

Eight-year-old Jeremy was born with spina bifida and he relies on a wheelchair to get around. Every year for Halloween, his dad goes all-out, designing a custom costume.

>> Need something to lift your spirits? Read more uplifting news

This year, the California boy will be driving around the neighborhood in a "Ghostbusters" Ecto-1 car. The vehicle even features a working siren.

Last year, dad Ryan Miller built Jeremy a Star Wars Snow Speeder.

Rogue squadron! #starwars #costume A photo posted by Ryan Scott Miller (@ryansmiller) on Oct 29, 2015 at 9:52pm PDT

The year before that, Jeremy was Captain America riding on his signature motorcycle.

Jeremy in his wheelchair as Captain America on his motorcycle! #halloween A video posted by Ryan Scott Miller (@ryansmiller) on Oct 25, 2014 at 8:56pm PDT

Another photo on Miller’s Instagram shows Jeremy dressed as a pirate in a pirate ship.

Jeremy and the Neverland Pirates! A photo posted by Ryan Scott Miller (@ryansmiller) on Oct 20, 2012 at 5:51pm PDT

Miller says the elaborate costumes give Jeremy a welcomed confidence boost.

"When he’s out at school and things like that, he has his friends, but sometimes they run and they just leave him behind," Miller told the Today Show. "Part of the reason we do this is because people come to him, so he’s the center of attention, and he loves it."

Miller says he’s happy to brighten his son’s Halloween in whatever way he can.

"He’s a great kid and he’s able to do so many things that just astound us. This is just another way to help him feel special and help him realize that even though he can’t do some things, he can do a lot of other things that are great."

Check out a slideshow of Jeremy's costume below:

Amazing Ghostbusters Ecto1 Wheelchair Halloween Costume

This is what football can do to a child's brain after just one season

The results of a new study may have some parents rethinking whether they allow their children to play football.

>> Watch the news report here

Three million children in the U.S. play in tackle football programs. While many doctors and scientists have taken a look at the impact of concussions, new research by Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center studied the impact of less-serious blows to the head that are common during games.

The study included 25 players between the ages of 8 and 13 and was centered on a youth program in Winston-Salem, N.C. Each boy was outfitted with a helmet that measured the severity and frequency of head blows.

“This is important, particularly for children, because their brains are undergoing such rapid change, particularly in the age category from maybe 9 to 18. And we just don’t know a lot of about it,” Dr. Chris Whitlow, a lead researcher, told NBC News.

Researchers say their findings indicated that even at this young age, the boys were receiving pretty hard hits.

The doctors then performed MRIs on the players and determined there were some changes in the brain’s white matter, the tissue that connects the gray matter of the brain.

“We have detected some changes in the white matter,” Whitlow said. “And the importance of those changes is that the more exposure you have to head impacts, the more change you have.”

Young players who did not have concussions were also found to have been impacted by repeated hits. Brain changes were found even after a single season of playing the sport.

>> Read more trending stories

So far, doctors are not cautioning parents against letting their children play football since there are still some unclear areas following the study. Doctors don’t know if these changes will continue as the boys play football. They also don’t know what long-term impact the repeated blows to the head will have on the players.

Still, some parents say the sport is worth the risk — for now — because of the joy it brings to their children. Football also encourages their kids to stay on top of their grades.

Kindra Ritzie-Worthy has two sons who play football. She says they take their footballs everywhere they go. One even sleeps with his ball.

“Worth the risk?” she told NBC. “I say absolutely.”

The study is published in the journal Radiology.

Weeks after giving birth, soccer star undergoes surgery to remove brain tumor

Former U.S. women’s soccer player Lauren Holiday is recovering after undergoing a successful surgery to remove a benign brain tumor Thursday at Duke University Hospital.

The 28-year-old is married to New Orleans Pelicans guard Jrue Holiday. She was diagnosed with a benign brain tumor called meningioma during her pregnancy with their first daughter.

>> Read more trending stories

In late September, the couple welcomed baby Jrue Tyler. The baby’s original due date was mid-October, but doctors decided to induce labor early to expedite brain surgery, ESPN reports.

Jrue Holiday is currently away from the Pelicans indefinitely as he helps his wife through the recovery. His teammates and coach have been supportive of his decision to take some much-needed family time.

Doctors are confident that Lauren Holiday will make a full recovery, ABC News reports.

Happy Birthday to my best friend, my adventurer and my partner in life. So thankful for the day you were born. I love you. A photo posted by @laurenholiday12 on Jun 12, 2016 at 9:22am PDT

Mom of conjoined twins holds son alone for first time after separation surgery

Until this weekend, mom Nicole McDonald had never held her twin boys in the 13 months since their arrival. On Friday, she was finally able to hold her son, Jadon, following his separation from his brother, Anias.

"For over 13 months, I've dreamed of this moment... I wrapped my arms around him and rocked. One of the most profound moments of my life." #JadonAndAniasPosted by CNN on Monday, October 24, 2016

Jadon and Anias were born conjoined at the tops of their heads. Because of their condition, Nicole was never able to hold her sons.

>> Surgeons separate conjoined twins; family reunited after surgery

On Friday, she finally got that chance.

>> Boy opens eyes for first time since separated from twin brother

“For over 13 months, I’ve dreamed of this moment,” Nicole wrote on Facebook, according to CNN. “I looked down at Jadon’s angelic face and saw him in a way I’d never seen him before. He whimpered for almost the whole two hours I held him because he had just been extubated, had the area under his scalp washed out and had been weaned from the good pain meds.”

>> Need something to lift your spirits? Read more uplifting news

Before the surgery, if Nicole wanted to comfort Jadon, she would have to wrap her body around him in his hospital bed. Now, she can hold him in her arms.

Nicole’s husband, Christian McDonald, wasn’t at the hospital at the time, but says he’s glad Nicole got the moment she had been dreaming of with Jadon.

>> Read more trending stories

She hasn’t been able to hold Anias yet, because his recovery process has been taking a bit longer, as doctors predicted.

Both boys are recovering well. Two weeks ago, they underwent a risky, 27-hour separation surgery at Montefiore Medical Center in the Bronx. A GoFundMe page has raised more than $280,000 to help cover the family’s medical costs. If you would like to donate, click here.

Posted by Nicole McDonald on Monday, October 17, 2016

WATCH: Security camera captures Florida boy's hilarious overnight romp

This surveillance video of a mischievous Florida boy's overnight high jinks is sure to bring a smile to your face.

<script>(function(d, s, id) {</span><br /><span>  var js, fjs = d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0];</span><br /><span>  if (d.getElementById(id)) return;</span><br /><span>  js = d.createElement(s); = id;</span><br /><span>  js.src = "//;version=v2.8";</span><br /><span>  fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js, fjs);</span><br /><span>}(document, 'script', 'facebook-jssdk'));</script> Looking through security footage when I found this event in the middle of the night in my living room. He's so dead.Posted by Cody Wray on Wednesday, October 19, 2016

>> Click here to watch the viral video

According to ABC News, Cody Wray of Tampa recently noticed that someone had unplugged his home surveillance camera. He watched the recording and quickly discovered that the culprit was his own son, 6-year-old Dylan.

>> Read more trending stories

"Looking through security footage when I found this event in the middle of the night in my living room," Wray wrote on Facebook, posting the hilarious clip of Dylan jumping on the couch and punching the cushions, then cartwheeling and somersaulting across the room.

"This is the last image the camera captured before it was unplugged," Wray added, sharing a close-up of his son's freckled face.

>> See the photo here

​Posted by Cody Wray on Wednesday, October 19, 2016

The video has been viewed more than 52,000 times since it was posted Oct. 19.

>> Need something to lift your spirits? Read more uplifting news

When Wray approached Dylan about what he had found, his son responded, "I told you I get up at 2 a.m. sometimes," Wray told WFAA.

"Every time we watch, it's still hysterical," Wray added in an interview with ABC News. "You want to be mad at him since he's jumping on our brand-new couches, but he's just so cute."

>> Read more Floridoh! stories

Read more here or here.

Infants should sleep in parents' room for at least 6 months, report says

Infants should sleep in the same room but not the same bed as their parents for at least the first six months of their lives, a new report from the American Academy of Pediatrics says.

>> Read more trending stories  

 The report recommends that babies sleep on a separate surface in parents' rooms, such as a crib or bassinet, but never on a couch, armchair or soft surface for up to their first birthday.

Such soft surfaces can lead to nasal obstruction and asphyxia in infants.

"Parents should never place the baby on a sofa, couch, or cushioned chair, either alone or sleeping with another person," Rachel Moon, lead author of the report, said in a statement. "We know that these surfaces are extremely hazardous."

And for tired parents feeding infants, if "there's even the slightest possibility that you may fall asleep, feed your baby on your bed, rather than a sofa or cushioned chair," said Dr. Lori Feldman-Winter co-author of the report.

The guidelines serve as tips to decrease the risk of sleep-related deaths, including sudden infant death syndrome, or SIDS. Researchers say minimizing risk factors is the best way to keep babies safe and decrease the number of sleep-related deaths in infants, which currently amounts to nearly 3,500 deaths per year in the United States.   

"The whole phenomenon of SIDS implies that we don't know 100 percent what is responsible for the death, but we have theories," Feldman-Winter said.

The report cites evidence that shows parents who share their room with their infant can reduce the risk of SIDS by as much as 50 percent.

"Babies should share that sleep environment for up to one year, because there is a slight risk of SIDS that persists," Feldman-Winter said. "A baby that is within reach of their mother may have more comfort or physical stimulation from being in an environment with another person."

Other recommendations in the report include placing a sleeping infant on his or her back on a firm sleep surface with a tight-fitting sheet and avoiding the use of soft bedding, including crib bumpers, blankets, pillows and soft toys.

Feldman-Winter said a bare crib or space is best.

"There should be no pillows, sheets, blankets or other items that could obstruct the infant's breathing or cause overheating," she said.

Feldman-Winter and Moon said that even with products advertising safer sleeping environments for children, small changes can make a big impact.

"We know that we can keep a baby safer without spending a lot of money on home-monitoring gadgets but through simple precautionary measures," Moon said.

Man pays off all students' overdue lunch fees at elementary school

Parents of 89 students don’t have to worry about their child’s overdue lunch balances thanks to the kindness of a stranger.

>> Watch the news report here

Jerry Fenton, a motel owner in Burlington, Iowa, donated about $700 to Grimes Elementary, his former school, to cover all overdue lunch balances there.

“I find it hard to believe that in this day and age there are kids that go hungry. It’s just unfathomable in this day and age,” Fenton told WQAD.

>> Need something to lift your spirits? Read more uplifting news

The outstanding balance was $458, so his donation will help cover future overdue balances, as well.

>> Read more trending stories

Read more here.

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