Teal Pumpkins: What they Mean and Why They are Important 

Forget about orange and black this Halloween – teal is the hottest color this October 31st!  People all around the world are now actively participating in the Teal Pumpkin Project, which was started by the Food Allergy Research and Education organization. This initiative was created to help all children enjoy and celebrate Halloween. After all, trick-or-treating is now a fun pastime for kids of all ages, but approximately one out of every 13 kids suffer from some type of food allergy. With the Teal Pumpkin Project, this spooky holiday is much safer for them and makes it much easier for parents to let them participate.

Joining in with the Teal Pumpkin Project

If you wish to join in with the Teal Pumpkin Project, it is actually quite easy. The first step is to purchase non-food treats to give out to your dressed-up visitors on October 31st. Some things to consider offering include stickers, bookmarks, pencils, whistles and other small items that will easily fit in a candy bag. Once you have your non-food treats, you paint a pumpkin teal and put it outside. This lets families know that your home is safe for children who have a food allergy.

The Popularity of the Teal Pumpkin Project

Since the Teal Pumpkin Project started, the movement has spread to more than 14 countries according to the official website. Also, it doesn’t mean that you can’t give out any candy at all. Any one participating in the Teal Pumpkin Project who also want to give out candy just make sure to place these treats in a separate container.

This Halloween Help Everyone Have a “Spook-tacular” Time

There is no question that this movement has been beneficial for a number of parents who have children with food allergies. After all, no one wants  to tell their child they can’t join in with an activity that is supposed to be fun. When you participate in the Teal Pumpkin Project you will be helping make sure that every child – regardless of what they may be allergic to – have fun and enjoy this holiday.  Want to learn more about his amazing project?  Visit the official Teal Pumpkin Project Facebook Page.



Asthma 101: Don’t Let it Take Your Breath Away

You have likely heard of asthma and may even know someone who suffers from this condition. However, do you really know what asthma is, why it is so dangerous, or what the signs are that someone may be suffering an asthma attack? Being informed is the best way to prevent an asthma attack or help if an asthma attack occurs.

Asthma Defined 

Asthma is a condition that affects the lungs. It is considered one of the most common, long-term diseases in children, but adults can suffer from asthma as well. It causes coughing, chest tightness, breathlessness and wheezing. If you suffer from asthma, you have it all the time, but will only suffer asthma attacks when something irritates your lungs.

How to Tell if You or Someone You Know Suffers from Asthma 

It is often challenging to tell if someone suffers from asthma, especially in children under the age of five. A doctor can perform tests to see how well your lungs are working, and check for allergies, which can help determine if you or your child have asthma. The breathing tests will also be accompanied by specific questions to determine if there is something in the environment that may be leading to breathing issues.

Understanding Asthma Attacks 

Asthma attacks occur in the airways. As air begins moving through your lungs, the airways get smaller. During an attack, the airways begin to swell and shrink, allowing less and less air in and out of your lungs. The mucous that is then produced will clog the airways even more.

Asthma attacks usually occur because of exposure to a “trigger.” Different things can trigger different people. Some of the most common triggers include grass, burning wood, mold, pets, cockroach allergens, outdoor air pollution, dust mites and tobacco smoke. Getting to know what your triggers are can help you avoid suffering an asthma attack.

Preventing and Controlling Asthma 

The good news is there are modern medications that can help prevent and control asthma attacks and symptoms of this condition. It is a good idea to talk with your doctor, or your child’s doctor, to have a plan in place that will control and treat asthma attacks if they do occur.




Everything You Need to Know about Shingles

According to Medical News Today, there are more than one million cases of shingles every year in the United States. Shingles, also known as herpes zoster, is caused by the vericella zoster virus, and appears as a painful skin rash often in a band or strip somewhere on the body or on one side of the face. Older adults are typically those who 

are most susceptible to Shingles as well as individuals with a weakened immune system.  Normally, a person gets shingles once in their lifetime. Once it is cured there is very little risk of it coming back, although there are cases where some people do get shingles more than once in their lifetime.

What Causes Shingles?

Have you ever had the chickenpox?  If so, there is a chance you could get shingles later in life. This is because shingles is caused when the chickenpox virus, vericella zoster,  reactivates after lying dormant in your body.  For most people, the virus will remain dormant throughout their lives, but for others, particularly those with a weakened immune system due to an illness, old age, or stress, the virus shows up again as shingles but never as chickenpox.  Shingles can also be a side-effect to certain medications.  

Is Shingles Contagious?

Yes and No. You cannot “catch” shingles from another person no matter how close you get.  However, if you have never had chickenpox or the chickenpox vaccine it is possible for the virus to spread from one person to another.  

Common Symptoms of Shingles

Besides the appearance of a skin rash, there are other symptoms that may accompany the virus and which occur in stages. These are:

  • Stage One: Headache, sensitivity to light, flu-like symptoms but no fever.  
  • Stage Two: Tingling, itching, or pain on an area of the skin.  A few days later a skin rash typically appears and can turn into blisters.
  • Stage Three:  It can take about two to four weeks for the blisters to heal.  You may experience feelings of fatigue, changes in vision.

Get Early Treatment

It is important to treat shingles as soon as possible for full recovery, especially if the rash is near your eyes, as this can seriously and adversely affect your vision. Your doctor will treat the shingles with antiviral medicine and may give you medicine for pain as well.