Review Category : Health

Boy Does ‘Happy Dance’ After Hearing Mom’s Voice Through Hearing Aid

Courtesy Caitlin Orantes(PRINCETON, N.J.) — A 2-year-old boy did his own “happy dance” after getting a hearing aid that helped him more clearly, his mother told ABC News.

Kaiden Orantes, 2, was given hearing aids after being diagnosed with progressive hearing loss, according to his mother, Caitlin Orantes. Doctors aren’t sure why the boy’s hearing has gotten worse since he was born, Orantes said. In an effort to improve the boy’s hearing and help him learn language, doctors fitted Kaiden this week with special hearing aids.

“He started freaking out and did the happy dance,” Orantes, of Princeton, New Jersey, said of the moment her son heard sound more clearly.

The boy was obsessed with music and dancing even before he had new hearing aids, Orantes said, and he would be fixated by the vibrations coming from the television or radio.

“He is super drawn to music. … That’s something he can hear surprisingly [well],” Orantes said. “It transfers into your brain in a completely different way than [other] sounds would.”

With his hearing aid, Kaiden has been running around and playing on his toy guitars Orantes got for him, she said.

“This kid is obsessed with music,” she said. “I’ve had videos of him going crazy and trying to sing. He can’t form too many words.”

She said now that he has hearing aids, she hopes to get him in music classes. While doctors aren’t sure what’s causing the hearing loss, Orantes said she hopes he can someday get a cochlear implant.

“He’s finally able to hear the sound he’s creating,” Orantes said. “It’s so priceless.”

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

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Your Body: Drinking While Pregnant

iStock/ThinkstockBy DR. JENNIFER ASHTON, ABC News Senior Medical Contributor

Pregnant women and alcohol: It’s long been debated whether it’s a good idea or not. Now the topic comes back into the spotlight as bartenders in New York City now can’t refuse to let a pregnant woman into the bar or serve her alcohol under the city’s human rights law.

Critics say expectant mothers shouldn’t be drinking alcohol for the health of their baby. But legal experts say a woman has the right to make choices about what she drinks and what she eats even when she’s pregnant. This is a topic I discuss in my book Eat This, Not That When You’re Expecting.

Medically, it comes down to risks versus benefits. There are zero risks to the baby of mom abstaining from alcohol and zero benefits to the baby if mom does drink.

Pregnancy is only nine months. So this is a temporary sacrifice.

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

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Millennial Dad? Here’s Some Advice

DigitalVision/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — Just because your dad did things one way doesn’t mean you have to do it that way, too. AARP online recently spoke with two young fathers in their 30s about how some millennials take a different approach to fatherhood than traditional dads of older generations.

Featured in the profile were Austin Dowd, 32, a stay-at-home dad, and Simon Isaacs, 35, the father of a 15-month-old daughter who started the millennial dad lifestyle website Fatherly in 2015. Their advice?

Stay-at-home dads make their own rules: “Moms often follow a prescribed mom code, but men invent their own,” Dowd says. “My priority is to get my sons outdoors as much as possible so they can burn off some energy.”

Acknowledge that your son is conflicted about his work-life balance. While the most would like to take parental leave or be a stay-at-home dad, they are leaning that, just like moms, they can’t have it all, Isaacs says.

Don’t assume that a millennial dad is subbing for mom. “I’ll be at Trader Joe’s, and occasionally I’ll get those comments,” Dowd says.

And by the way, millennials have all the advice they need, thank you. Dowd says, “Back in the ’80s when you needed advice, you asked neighbors and friends. But we have the Internet. When there’s an issue, we jump online, and there’s all the information we need.”

Remember that family is about everyone, says Isaacs. So when millennial parents are working try to go to them since they have limited time to visit or travel.

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

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Venus Williams on Her Daily Diet, Her Future

Scott Clarke / ESPN Images(NEW YORK) — Venus Williams is a “chegan.”

The 7-time Grand Slam tennis champion, businesswoman and author became vegan a few years ago after being diagnosed with Sjögren’s syndrome, but she admits she cheats a bit here and there. The syndrome is known to cause fatigue and joint pain, according to the Mayo Clinic.

“I’m not perfect, but I live a plant-based lifestyle,” she said. “[Like] french fries are vegan, but just cause it’s vegan, doesn’t make it the best food choice. [Also] potato chips, I consider that cheating, especially when I’m training.”

Williams, 35, spoke to ABC News to promote Silk’s “Do Plants” campaign and said living clean isn’t just for those with health issues.

“I think everyone has a moment where they do have health issues,” she said. “It’s important to address those with a physician, but in general … people do need those alternatives even if they haven’t had those life-changing issues. I never advocate living the perfect life. You have to live a balanced life. The transition can be a challenge but the rewards are worth it.”

Williams trains upwards of five hours a day, when she’s not working in fashion with her sister or doing a myriad of other ventures. She’s not a morning eater, so she needs to find a way to get fuel into her body to keep her going.

“I always make a smoothie, so I can get it down … A perfect life would be one where you get to take a nap in the middle of the day,” she joked. “Around 2 p.m., I get really tired, but I keep pushing through. It’s all about fueling your body correctly and for energy. That has helped me … it’s my job to be healthy.”

The Olympic champion and multifaceted entrepreneur has plans for down the road, when tennis may or may not be her focus.

“I enjoy the designs, love to be doing groundbreaking designs,” she said her line EleVen. “[I’d also like to] help people live healthy lives. It’s so important in my life. For me it’s plant-based lifestyle, for others, maybe it’s getting moving more. For everyone it’s different. [I’d like to help people] find your healthiest moment.”

Williams also said she has a secret passion.

“I love dancing,” she said. “In 10 years, I’d love to be a great dancer.”

Would she ever do Dancing With the Stars?

“No, I love winning. If I didn’t win, I wouldn’t be happy,” she said, respectfully. “I would enter if I thought for sure I’d win. I’m also really shy and that would be tough for me to get out there and start dancing in front of the whole world.”

She continued about the tough judges on the show, “You never know when you’re going home.”

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

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How to Help the Injured in an Emergency

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — In a medical emergency, mere seconds can count in a rush to save the lives of the injured.

In Orlando, multiple people were seen being rushed out of the Pulse nightclub with makeshift tourniquets and bandages around injured limbs. Joshua McGill, who said he ran out of the club when he heard gunshots, said he later stumbled across a stranger bleeding from both arms.

“That’s when I noticed he had been shot once in each arm,” he told ABC News. “I took my shirt off, tied it around his first initial gunshot wound on his left arm. I took his shirt off, tied it around his other arm where the other gunshot wound was.”

“I just applied as much pressure as I could as we were walking him to the nearest officer that was on standby,” McGill said.

McGill may have saved the man’s life by using a simple but incredibly important technique — stopping the bleeding with pressure. Even a person with a severe injury may be saved if blood loss can be stopped long enough to get to a hospital.

“Stopping bleeding is the most important thing for severe extremity bleeding,” said Dr. Gregg Margolis, a director in the office of Preparedness and Response in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. A person can bleed to death in three to five minutes, which is faster than most first responders can arrive on the scene. Margolis noted.

“We have learned hard lessons on the battlefield and in the streets,” he said.

Pushing very hard on the bleeding site, with bandages or clothing, is the first step. “You have to push really hard,” Margolis noted.

If the bleeding does not stop, a tourniquet can be a safe but temporary solution, said Dr. Scott Sasser, chair of emergency medicine at the University of South Carolina in Greenville.

McGill, the survivor of the Orlando shooting, said he fashioned a tourniquet out of his shirt, which he tied around the victim’s arm. However, ready-made tourniquets are becoming increasingly common in first aid kits and alongside emergency defibrillators in public places, Sasser explained. They often come with an easy-to-follow instruction card, he added.

A tourniquet is placed two to three inches closer to the torso than the source of the bleeding, according to the national “Stop the Bleed” campaign from the Department of Homeland Security.

If a ready-made tourniquet is not available, then a bystander can improvise with a wide piece of cloth or other available material, Margolis explained. The most effective tourniquets are the tightest, he added.

Tourniquets have been debated in the past, with concerns that they may cause permanent limb damage after only one or two hours. However, the science is clear about their potential benefits, Margolis said.

“The benefits of tourniquets in severe bleeding in the arms or legs is not very controversial,” Margolis said. “The benefits far outweigh any small risk of complications. It is better to err on the side of applying a tourniquet.”

Sasser agreed: “We know that this is effective in stopping extremity hemorrhage. We know that they are safe and someone can learn how to apply one literally immediately with just-in-time training. And they can save somebody’s life.”

When confronted with a tragedy like Orlando, Sasser said it is most important for bystanders to first be aware of their surroundings, move themselves and other victims to safety, and call 911. However, the “Stop the Bleed” campaign reminds that “you are the help until help arrives.”

“We know bystanders are present. We know they will act. And we know that bystanders save lives,” Sasser said.

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

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At Least 234 Pregnant Women in US Infected With Zika: CDC

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — Three infants in the U.S. have been born with Zika-related birth defects, according to a new report by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Three other pregnancies ended in miscarriage with the fetuses showing signs of birth defects associated with the mosquito-borne virus, the CDC reported. Officials are now reporting on these births weekly as the Zika virus continues to spread across the globe.

“The pattern that we are seeing here among travel-associated cases are consistent with the pattern that we are seeing elsewhere,” said Dr. Denise Jamieson, co-lead of the Pregnancy and Birth Defects Task Force on the CDC Zika Virus Response Team.

At least 234 pregnant women in the U.S. and the District of Columbia are infected with the Zika virus, and another 198 pregnant women in the U.S. territories have tested positive for Zika, according to the CDC.

“Most of those pregnancies are still ongoing,” said Jamieson. The CDC is not releasing further details or numbers out of respect for patient privacy.

All of the cases were travel-associated, meaning either the pregnant woman or a sexual partner had visited a country with active Zika transmission, said Jamieson.

Birth defects include microcephaly, a rare disorder where a baby is born with an abnormally small head and possibly underdeveloped brain. Other Zika-related defects include calcium deposits in the brain, excess fluid in the brain cavities, abnormal eye development, and other damage to nerves, muscles, and bones, according to the CDC.

“The period with the greatest risk for microcephaly and other brain abnormalities is in the first-trimester,” said Jamieson.

“I think it reinforces our guidance…to avoid mosquito bites and avoid the risk of sexual transmission,” said Jamieson. The CDC continues to advise pregnant women to avoid travel to areas with the Zika virus.

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

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Why the CDC Hasn’t Launched a Comprehensive Gun Study in 15 Years

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention studies a variety of public health threats every year, from infectious diseases to automobile safety. But for 15 years, the CDC has avoided comprehensive research on one of the top causes of death in the U.S.: firearms.

While the CDC keeps surveillance data on gun injuries and deaths, it has not funded a study aimed at reducing harm from guns since 2001. The CDC’s own estimates show that firearms are one of the top five causes of death in the U.S. for people under the age of 64, so advocates of gun safety say the lack of comprehensive research is particularly glaring.

The dearth of research funding leads back to 1997, when an amendment was added to an operations bill that passed in Congress with the language that the CDC will be barred from any research that will “advocate or promote gun control,” CDC spokeswoman Courtney Lenard told ABC News.

Called the Dickey Amendment after Rep. Jay Dickey, a Republican from Arkansas who served from 1993 to 2001, the amendment is often called a ban, but it did allow for research on injuries or death from firearms. However, Lenard pointed out that following the amendment, Congress cut funding for the CDC by the exact amount that had been spent on gun research in the year prior. While the $2.6 million funding was eventually restored, it was earmarked specifically for traumatic brain injury research, according to a 2013 article in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

The CDC still focuses on surveillance of firearms deaths but the steps taken by Congress have effectively blocked expansive CDC research on the public health effects of firearms, the CDC spokeswoman said.

“CDC’s Injury Center has very limited discretionary funding to dedicate to firearm violence research and prevention,” Lenard said in a statement to ABC News.

In 2012, the language in the Dickey Amendment was expanded to include all aspects of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the parent agency of the CDC.

This year, as he also did in 2014, President Obama has asked for $10 million for research into firearms, according to the CDC.

The effects of firearms on public safety has increasingly become a concern for public health experts.

The American Medical Association voted on Wednesday to expand its policy to include support for waiting periods and background checks for all firearms and not just handguns. Earlier this week, the association called firearm violence “a public health crisis” and called for lawmakers to relax the Dickey Amendment so that the CDC can conduct meaningful research to understand the effects of firearms on public health. The group said it plans to lobby Congress to restore funding to the CDC for research into firearms as it relates to public health.

“With approximately 30,000 men, women and children dying each year at the barrel of a gun in elementary schools, movie theaters, workplaces, houses of worship and on live television, the United States faces a public health crisis of gun violence,” AMA President Dr. Steven J. Stack said in a statement this week.

“Even as America faces a crisis unrivaled in any other developed country, the Congress prohibits the CDC from conducting the very research that would help us understand the problems associated with gun violence and determine how to reduce the high rate of firearm-related deaths and injuries,” Stack added. “An epidemiological analysis of gun violence is vital so physicians and other health providers, law enforcement, and society at large may be able to prevent injury, death and other harms to society resulting from firearms.”

Dr. Mark Rosenberg was the director of the National Center for Injury Prevention and Control at the CDC at the time that the Dickey Amendment was passed and funding for gun research was taken away. Rosenberg told ABC News that without comprehensive firearms research, public health officials cannot give research-based advice for reducing deaths and injuries associated with firearms use.

“There are basic questions. … How do you get people to buy gun safes? How do you get people to store guns unloaded?” Rosenberg told ABC News. “Can firearms instructors who teach shooting also teach safe storage? Will that work? We don’t know.”

Similar to automobile-related deaths that have steadily decreased in recent decades thanks to safety measure like airbags, seatbelts and anti-lock brakes, Rosenberg said science could be used to help reduce injuries and deaths associated with firearms in the U.S.

“We’re trying to do two things at the same time with interventions,” Rosenberg said of both reducing harm from firearms and complying with the Second Amendment. “It’s like treating a cancer patient with chemotherapy and you can treat them with chemotherapy and stop the tumor but at a certain point you kill the patient’s vital organs. The only way you can find the answer to what is a better chemotherapy is to do research. … You can’t figure it out in your head.”

Many of the current proposals from both conservative and liberal policy makers are not based on sound science, Rosenberg noted, because there have been few comprehensive firearms studies in the U.S. since shortly after the 1997 Dickey Amendment. Rosenberg, who is now president of the nonprofit public health group Task Force for Global Health, pointed out that proposals such as arming every teacher or taking away assault rifles are not based on sound science.

“Doing the research suggests how people can have their guns and keep their communities safe,” he explained. “You can’t lock up the science for 20 years and try to proceed by yelling.”

Because some studies had been approved and funded before the 1997 Dickey Amendment, the CDC released multiple comprehensive studies on the effects of firearms on public health up until 2001. However, for the last 15 years, the CDC’s studies have relied on basic surveillance data.

The CDC’s budget for the National Electronic Injury Surveillance System-All Injury Program (NEISS-AIP), which includes firearms-related injuries, is about $50,000 a year, Lenard said. There are other surveillance systems, including the National Vital Statistics System and the National Violent Death Reporting System, but it’s difficult to pick out the specific cost of monitoring firearms deaths as opposed to other forms of violent death.

Mary Woolley, president of Research!America, a nonprofit organization that advocates for making medical and health research a higher national priority, pointed out how public health research has saved hundreds of thousands of lives from diminished tobacco use to increased use of bike helmets and additional safeguard to reduce child drownings in pools.

“Swimming pools [are] a good example of minimizing tragic deaths from toddlers. … They didn’t have fences around them,” until studies showed they were safer with fences, Woolley explained. “Nobody thinks that we’re going to eliminate hazards, that’s not the point. It’s to minimize dangers from things that we need and enjoy.”

Woolley said public health is about finding ways to make life safer, not about completely eliminating risk.

“I think that firearms fall into both of those categories,” she said. “We need them, they’re protected by the Bill of Rights, can be enjoyable. … But it doesn’t need to be dangerous.”

“It’s really hard to know why we’re waiting,” Woolley said. “You want to know your Congress is doing everything in their power. … It’s about figuring out how this can be a much safer environment.”

Even the namesake of the Dickey Amendment has found the lack of CDC research chilling. In a joint op-ed that he wrote with Rosenberg in December 2015 in the Washington Post, Dickey advocated for research.

“We have also come to see that gun-violence research can be created, organized and conducted with two objectives: first, to preserve the rights of law-abiding citizens and legal gun owners and, second, to make our homes and communities safer,” Dickey and Rosenberg wrote. “Well-structured research can be conducted to develop technologies and identify ways to achieve both objectives. We can get there only through research.”

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

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Skydiver Completes 101 Jumps in 12 Hours for Parkinson’s Research

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — Though Wisconsin skydiver Kevin Burkart fell short of completing his goal of 300 jumps in 24 hours on Wednesday, he still managed to accomplish another feat: raising $130,000 for Parkinson’s disease research.

The 45-year-old skydiver, whose left arm is completely paralyzed, told ABC News that he had set out to beat his previous jumping record in honor of his 75-year-old father, Gary Burkart, who’s been battling Parkinson’s for nearly two decades.

Parkinson’s is a progressive disorder of the nervous system that affects movement and can cause dementia.

“I decided to combine my two passions —- skydiving and raising awareness of Parkinson’s — to make a difference in my dad’s life and the 1 million Americans living with PD,” Kevin Burkart said, according to a news release from the National Parkinson Foundation’s Minnesota chapter.

“As hard as it is to skydive with one arm, it’s even harder to face this disease on a daily basis,” he added.

Kevin Burkart previously completed 151 jumps in 24 hours in 2013 — setting the state record in Wisconsin for the most skydive jumps attempted in the span of one day, according to the United States Parachute Association (USPA).

Burkart was determined to beat that record on Wednesday in Baldwin, Minnesota, as part of an event he created to raise money for finding a cure.

Bad weather, however, forced Burkart to end the event early.

He still managed to complete an impressive 101 jumps in 12 hours and Burkart said he was incredibly proud with the turnout. The event was held outside the Skydive Twin Cities facility, which he owns.

“Every jump I did was in honor of someone living with Parkinson’s,” he said. “Throughout the whole time, we had a professional announcer reading these brave people’s stories and we had multiple activities and contests throughout the day.”

Burkart hopes he inspired other people “to go out and do something that scares you.”

“I think that if you want to change the world, you have to push the envelope and be willing to overcome your fears,” he said.

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

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Mom Records Man Who Verbally Abused Her for Breast-Feeding in Public

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — A mother is speaking out after she was verbally abused for breast-feeding her baby in public at a Connecticut Target store.

Jesse Maher, 37, was nursing her 4-week-old daughter when a stranger began to berate her and call her names. Maher recorded the June 13 incident on her cellphone.

In the video, Maher can be heard saying, “Because I’m feeding my baby, this man is going crazy and I’m shaking.”

Maher later posted the video on her Facebook page. She told ABC News the man was telling her how “disgusting” she was for feeding her baby.

“He kept saying, ‘Can’t you cover up? What’s wrong with you?'” Maher explained.

While the man was berating Maher, Target staff members and another shopper came to her defense.

A voice can be heard in the video telling the man, “Don’t look then.”

Maher posted the video on her Facebook page in hopes of identifying the man.

“A breast-feeding mom is just sitting there defenseless. She’s just holding her baby, and feeding them,” Maher said. “You can’t just jump up and react.”

Maher’s video has earned over six million views. The mom said she has also received an overwhelming amount of messages on Facebook in support of her story.

“More than anything, it’s other breast-feeding moms just saying, ‘Thanks for looking out for us. Thanks for sticking up for us. Thanks for, you know, giving us a voice,'” she said.

Target employees ushered the unidentified man out of the store after the incident.

“Guests who choose to breastfeed in public areas of the store are welcome to do so without being made to feel uncomfortable,” the Minnesota-based company told ABC News in a statement.

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

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Your Body: Is a Higher SPF Better When It Comes to Sunscreen?

iStock/ThinkstockBy DR. JENNIFER ASHTON, ABC News Senior Medical Contributor

There are so many sunscreens out there with different SPF numbers that it can sometimes be hard to tell which ones are best.

Consumer Reports recently looked at 65 products, all having an SPF of 30 or higher, and found that 43 percent of them performed lower than what was on the label.

Some of the products the magazine looked at were for children. With an SPF label of 30 or 50, they were coming in at 8, which is way below what we should really see.

To use sunscreen correctly, a family of four should use an entire bottle, or eight ounces of sunscreen, in a four-hour trip to the beach.

Remember to apply 15 minutes before going out, reapply after swimming or every two hours, and don’t forget to use clothing or umbrellas to cover up, too.

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

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