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Death by Selfies!

A tourist died after falling down steps at the Taj Mahal while taking a selfie.

When taking selfies, common sense and caution seem to fly out the window! Last January a teenager in Chennai, India was killed while taking a selfie in front of an oncoming train. At least 49 deaths globally have been reported while taking selfies: drowning in the ocean, falling down stairs, and hit by traffic. No wonder many popular tourist sites and sports events are banning selfie sticks.

PositiveTip: Think carefully and act sensibly before documenting the next moment of your life with a selfie!

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Any Alcohol Exposure Places Baby At Risk

Fetal alcohol syndrome disorders may affect up to 5% of U.S. children.

A recent clinical report in Pediatrics says, "There is no known absolutely safe quantity, frequency, type, or timing of alcohol consumption during pregnancy," Growing evidence indicates that alcohol-related birth defects and developmental disabilities are completely preventable. It is also likely there are effects from prenatal alcohol exposure that are more subtle than current methods can detect.

PositiveTip: There is no safe level of alcohol use prior to or during pregnancy!

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The Mighty Soybean

No need to fear soyfoods in your diet--they actually are beneficial.

Soyfoods have been the source of much confusion over their safety, especially the phytoestrogens. Today research confirms their safety in humans. While these molecules are structurally similar to estrogens, they act differently in humans and are much weaker. Several servings of soyfoods per day have been found to be safe and beneficial as well.

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Tips to Prevent Heat Stroke

Learn how you can safely exercise outdoors in summer heat!

Thinking of taking your fitness routine outside in the summer heat? Here are a few tips to follow for safe exercise in the heat.

  1. Drink plenty of water--enough to replace what you lose..
  2. Do it in the cool of the morning, if at all possible
  3. Take it slow and easy. Don't push to hard.
  4. Wear clothes that wick away moisture.
  5. Use sunscreen if you need it.

PositiveTip: Beware of heat stroke. Learn about the symptoms from this useful Summer Safety Tip Sheet.

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Is Multitasking a Myth?

Attempting two tasks that require the same type of thinking causes one to suffer.

Think you are really good at multitasking? Think again! Researchers tested students' ability to memorize letters and perform math calculations at the same time. The 25% of the students who did the best on the test were the least likely to actually multitask in life. Contrary to these findings, 70% of these students thought that they performed above average in multitasking.

PositiveTip: Focus on one task at a time. In most cases, you will be more efficient.

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Supplement Safety

Many new supplement ingredients are introduced without any regulatory oversight.

Americans spend more than $28 billion annually on vitamins, minerals, herbals and other "natural" products in the form of dietary supplements. They do this assuming they are safe and effective. The FDA regulation of these products has been rather weak, even though the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act requires manufacturers to present "reseasonable expectation of safety." The food industry is held to much more stringent safety standards than the supplement industry. The New England Journal of Medicine has an informative article on this by Pieter Cohen, MD of the Cambridge Health Alliance. 

PositiveTip: Remember--not all things "natural" are safe or effective!

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Boring Playgrounds Reduce Kids Physical Activity

Boring playgrounds may hinder children's physical development.

Remember how much fun it was to zoom down that high, shinny slide with the low sides--over and over and over? Now comes a report suggesting that strict safety rules for playground equipment may make them so boring that children lose interest in playing! "Societal priorities for young children--safety and school readiness--may be hindering children's physical development," the authors wrote. Obviously, there must be a balance between safety and fun, challenging activities.

PositiveTip: Take your young children outdoors frequently and encourage them to safely play in fun and interesting ways.

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Love Can Reduce Feelings of Pain

Loving relationships reduce the perception of pain and stress.

Researchers investigating pain responses found that when women are able to view a picture of their partner, as opposed to photos of an object or a stranger, they experienced a lower perception of pain. The longer the women had been in the loving relationship, the stronger the brain activity where they sensed feelings of safety -- an area that can inhibit signals of fear and anxiety. Also, brain activity was lowered in the area responsible for a stress response.

PositiveTip:  Love can heal a host of problems. Everyone gets sick and has pain, but strong, loving relationships will make life less stressful and painful.

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Cribs and Playpens Can Be Deadly

More than 100 crib-related deaths occur every year in the USA.

A retrospective analysis of the National Electronic Injury Surveillance System for children under age 2 treated in emergency rooms from 1990 through 2008 has revealed that more than 80% of injuries involved cribs. One-third of these injuries involved falling. The authors note that about 25 of these occur every day in the USA, and call for significant improvements in product design.

PositiveTip: If your child sleeps in a crib or playpen, make sure they are safe!