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Friday
Jul152016

Expert Talks Dangers, Safety Tips for Children with "Pokemon Go"

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- As millions become obsessed with Pokemon Go, concern is arising that the game's cutting-edge technology is having the unintended effect of luring kids into dangerous areas.

Earlier this week, police arrested a paroled sex offender for playing the hit game with children, which takes players outside looking for virtual monsters.

The makers of Pokemon said Friday morning that they're working with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children to keep kids safe as they play the game. Callahan Walsh, a child advocate with the center, stopped by ABC News' Good Morning America Friday to discuss his organization's work with the game maker.

"We've had a long relationship with Pokemon for a while now ... helping them craft policy and make sure their game is as safe as possible," Walsh said. "They want to make sure kids are safe whether they're playing the card game in the tournaments or they're playing Pokemon Go."

New York City Police Commissioner Bill Bratton has said he's concerned about the safety of all players, not just children.

"That craze is one of the stupidest ones that I've seen, don't understand it, don't intend to understand it," Bratton said. "It has no appeal to me and at the same time people are putting themselves at great risk being lured into certain neighborhoods that they have no knowledge of ... and subjecting themselves to potentially being victims of crime."

Walsh said parents should use the game as an opportunity to teach broader safety lessons to kids.

"The rules that apply to keep kids safe, whether they're walking to or from school or at the bus stop, are going to be the same rules that keep them safe while they're playing Pokemon Go," Walsh said. "We want parents to make sure that they're supervising their youngest children ... [and that] the older children ... [are] empowered with safe and smart decision making."

Walsh listed four safety rules that young players should take before playing the game:

  1. Check with a parent before going anywhere.
  2. Take a friend.
  3. Tell people "no."
  4. Tell a trusted adult if anything happens.

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Friday
Jul152016

Your Body: Dealing with a Snoring Partner

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

Does your partner's snoring keep you up all night? If so, you're not alone. According to the National Sleep Foundation, snoring affects about 90 million adults.

Snoring can be more than just annoying noise -- it can be associated with obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), which is a serious issue that may need to be addressed. If snoring is interrupted by pauses in breathing or a struggle to breathe, it could be a sign of OSA.

In general, snoring is caused when the back of the roof of the mouth -- called the soft palette -- flutters and hits the back of the throat.

To reduce the risk of snoring, avoid alcohol and sedating meds before bedtime, and treat allergies. If all else fails, continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machines, dental devices and minor surgical procedures, which can be performed by an ear, nose and throat specialist, can help reduce snoring.

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Friday
Jul152016

How These Women Each Lost 100 Pounds and What They’re Doing to Keep It Off

(Courtesy Rebecca Grafton) Rebecca Grafton is a 25-year-old saleswoman who lost 104 pounds after ballooning up to 246 pounds in college.(NEW YORK) -- After Gillian Faith’s third pregnancy she knew she had to take control of her life and make some major changes.

Faith realized that she was truly addicted to food. She hid it, hoarded it -- and even sprayed her car to mask the odors.

“I resigned myself to being a chubby mummy and thought that’s what you did when you have kids,” she said. “I needed to stop being a bystander and that was what I had been for several years. And to be a role model and I had not been that for several years....”

Now, there’s not even a hint that the now-body builder once tipped the scales at 220 pounds. Through diet and exercise, she was able to drop 110 of those pounds.

Faith’s weight loss success -- along with that of others who have each lost 100 pounds or more -- is chronicled in a special issue of People magazine.

“I just need to stress, anyone can lose weight. In order to keep it off and be successful at keeping it off you must truly understand why you gained the weight in the first place,” Faith said.

Alex Perrineau knows that well. The 22-year-old acknowledges that she loved to eat -- fast food, candy, large candy bars, juice and fries.

“Everything extra-large,” Perrineau said of the serving sizes she would consume.

She eventually ate her way to weighing 310 pounds, but her life changed with she walked into a Jenny Craig weight loss center.

“I went from eating extra-large stuff to eating portioned food and much smaller. It was complicated,” she said.

Then she started walking, and then she took up running. It all helped her drop 142 pounds.

“I’m pretty sure there’s other young people who want to lose weight and you need a little motivation. I think my story can be motivation for someone who’s wanting to lose weight. Just looking for that inspiration,” she said.

MacKenzie Walker, 16, found the inspiration that helped her to lose more than 100 pounds. The high school student, from Windsor, Ontario, changed her diet and turned to Instagram to document her progress. The teen told ABC's Good Morning America that she drinks one gallon of water each day and relies on High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) for exercise, along with lifting weights.

MacKenzie’s favorite foods include lean meats and Greek yogurt for protein and she said she chooses healthy carbs like oatmeal, sweet potatoes and rice cakes. She eats almonds and nut butters for fat and said her one cheat food is diet soda.

Rebecca Grafton is a 25-year-old saleswoman who lost 104 pounds after ballooning up to 246 pounds in college.

The Collegeville, Pennsylvania, resident said she eats “a ton” of vegetables and now instead of pasta goes for spiralized zucchini as a side dish for dinner.

Grafton also documents her weight loss on Instagram. She turns to barre classes, Zumba and workout videos -- including those by Shaun T. and Jillian Michaels -- for exercise.

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Friday
Jul152016

WHO: Immunization Rates Steady Since 2010

luiscar/iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- In the last five years, global immunization for levels have remained steady.

According to the World Health Organization, 86 percent of the world's children received the required three doses of the vaccine for diphtheria-tetanus-pertussis (DTP3) in 2015. That figure, the organization says, has remained above 85 percent every year since 2010. Based on those statistics, the number of children who did not receive routine vaccinations fell to 19.4 million, down significantly from 33.8 million in 2000.

Still, the WHO insists the progress falls short of the Global Vaccine Action Plan's target of 90 percent or more vaccination rates at a national level and 80 percent or higher in all districts of all countries by 2015.

The WHO says 126 out of 194 member states achieved the 90 percent immunization target in 2015, up from just 63 in 2000.

Some nations, such as Congo, Guatemala, Iraq, Mauritania, Philippines and South Sudan have seen recent declines in immunization, due largely to under-investment in programs, lack of vaccine stock, disease outbreaks or conflicts.

Six nations -- Central African Republic, Equatorial Guinea, Somalia, South Sudan, Syria and Ukraine -- saw less than 50 percent immunization coverage.

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Thursday
Jul142016

Congress Leaves for Summer Without Funding Fight Against Zika

iStock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- Nearly five months since President Obama requested $1.9 billion from Congress to fight the Zika virus, lawmakers left Washington without passing much-needed funding to stop the spread of the disease and fund vaccine research.

As members prepared to leave town for seven weeks and health official warn of the growing Zika threat, Senate Democrats again blocked a $1.1 billion funding measure crafted by House and Senate Republicans.

While Democrats criticized “poison-pill” measures in the proposal that would block Planned Parenthood funding, Republicans said it was the best they could expect.

“We passed a perfectly responsible piece of legislation -- the funding level that everyone agreed to, the contents of the bill that people think is wise,” House Speaker Paul Ryan told ABC News. “The Democrats for some reason or another decided to play politics with it.”

Democrats argue that the House-passed bill was hardly the compromise they expected to emerge from negotiations.

“This is going to be a long, hot summer,” Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) said at a news conference Thursday.

Republicans have touted progress on mental health reform and opioid abuse legislation in response to Democrats’ attacks.

Because of congressional inaction, the administration will likely have to reallocate even more funding to help combat Zika – which health officials say leaves other disease-fighting efforts underfunded.

In September, Congress will also have to consider a stopgap bill to prevent a government shutdown, as lawmakers are unlikely to approve all twelve spending bills by the end of the fiscal year at the end of September.

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Thursday
Jul142016

Meet the 73-Year-Old Cheerleader in North Carolina Who's Refusing to Let Age Dictate Her Life 

Blend Images/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) --  Meet Louise Gooche, a 73-year-old cheerleader from Durham, North Carolina, who's inspiring elderly people to stay fit and not let age dictate their lives.

"I learned how to do a full split at the ripe, ol' age of 62," Gooche told ABC News. "You just keep practicing and start stretching one leg as far as you can, then you work on the other and one day you just sort of notice your legs open up, and there you go!"

Gooche is captain of the Durham Senior Divas 'N Dude, a cheer squad she founded over 12 years ago to empower elderly people in her community.

It was February 2004, and Gooche had been in remission from colon cancer for just about a year, she said. Gooche had been volunteering with her local YMCA and for the North Carolina Senior Games, which she described as an "Olympics type of event for seniors in the state."

 "I was at a training conference for the games' ambassadors one night, and they had about three or four seniors performing cheerleading routines," she said. "I thought, 'Well we could do this in my hometown.'"

The following day, Gooche said she put a sign-up sheet for a senior cheer team at the Downtown Durham YMCA. Though she was worried she "might be the only senior citizen in all of Durham who wanted to be a cheerleader," nine women signed up by the end of the day.

 Together, the 10 women started the Durham Senior Divas. They performed their first routine at a senior citizen holiday party sponsored by Durham's Parks and Recreation Department. Since then, the group has grown in size and become more competitive.

The Divas started competing in the North Carolina Senior Games in 2005, Gooche said. The girls won a bronze medal that year.

 "We were happy, but you know, we knew we had to push this up a notch, and so we kept working and working," Gooche said. "A bronze medal became silver, and silver became gold, and it's been that way ever since."

The Divas now have eight North Carolina Senior Games gold medals, and they've come out on top for the past five consecutive years.

 Much has changed since the team was first started -- the Divas have since recruited a man to the team, and the group now has 15 active members ranging in age from 62 to 78 -- but the team has continued to inspire the community.

"We love the Divas at the Durham YMCA," said Forrest Perry, branch executive director of the Durham YMCAs.

 "The Durham Divas embody the importance of staying active and healthy, regardless of your age," Perry told ABC News in a statement. "We’re proud of the example they set for seniors and people of all ages, and we’re honored to be able to partner with them to share the importance of being active."

Gooche told ABC News that the Divas 'N Dude "have never been ones to let age stop us. Oh heavens, no."

 She added that she understands many seniors feel limited by certain conditions and ailments they have, but her advice to them is to "just move what you can on a regular, daily basis."

"A lot of people are surprised when they find that just a little movement can help alleviate some of the discomforts that come with their conditions," she said. "And you know, if you don't use it, you'll lose it."

Gooche said she has no plans on slowing down yet and said she's hoping she might be able to fulfill one last thing on her bucket list.

"Don't tell my son, but I've always wanted to learn how to drive a motorcycle," she said. "They do have motorcycle classes in my area. I wouldn't get out on an interstate or anything, but you know, just drive around the neighborhood.

"I might do it, who knows?" she added with a laugh.

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Thursday
Jul142016

Hospitals Prep to Treat Protesters and Delegates at Upcoming Conventions

iStock/Thinkstock(CLEVELAND) — With thousands of people expected to pour into the cities of Cleveland and Philadelphia for the upcoming Republican and Democratic conventions, hospital health officials are prepping for any kind of medical emergency, both large and small.

In Cleveland, the three major health systems have been working out a coordination plan to ensure they can handle a mass casualty event and also everyday medical needs like helping a delegate get prescription drugs they forgot.

Dr. Michael Anderson, Chief Medical Officer University Hospitals Case Medical Center in Cleveland, told ABC News a hotline is being set up so all attendees can get easy access to medical help. He said if people need help getting medication or finding an urgent care center they can call the number. Additionally at the hospital -- one of two Level-1 trauma centers in the city -- the staff has been prepping for over a year to handle various crises.

"We said no vacation for trauma surgeons," that week, Anderson said. In case of a mass casualty event, Anderson said the health system would be able to quickly accommodate multiple patients.

He said all staff have been warned to "have your cellphone, have a full tank of gas," in case of emergency.

Anderson also said they've been consulting with experts about how to treat tear gas or pepper spray injuries if needed. He pointed out that all hospitals in the region must have enough supplies to be self-sufficient for 72 hours in case of emergency.

At Cleveland Clinic, officials have put into place 200 surge plans in place to address everything from an increased number of dehydration cases to mass disaster responses.

"We’ve been planning for this for the past year-and-a-half in concert with the other health systems here in Cleveland," a spokeswoman for Cleveland Clinic told ABC News in a statement. "We have done numerous drills in preparation for the upcoming convention with the city of Cleveland and others."

MetroHealth System, which runs the other Level-1 trauma center in Cleveland, said they expedited construction on a new ICU center to ensure they had extra beds before the convention and all staff are expected to be ready to respond.

"We have been preparing for a while and will be adequately staffed," Hospital spokeswoman Tina Arundel told ABC News. "There are no vacations and people are expected to be here."

Hospital team members also take part in FEMA training regularly in order to prepare for large-scale events.

"They learned how information flows, who makes what decisions when coordinating with cities, counties, etc. and even went through full scale exercises," at the training, a Arundel told ABC News.

In Philadelphia, officials said past events like the papal visit have helped them prep for the upcoming influx of visitors.

Mark Ross, Regional Manager of Emergency Preparedness for the Hospital & Healthsystem Association of Pennsylvania, said they have planning for the Democratic National Convention for months.

"This is a big city, we do big events, we’ve had a few recently here with the papal visit and the unfortunate events around Amtrak 188," said Ross. "We routinely meet plan, exercise, and coordinate between healthcare and all our other partners in emergency management, law enforcement, fire, EMS."

Tom Runkle, Associate Administrator at Hahnemann University Hospital, administrators have been prepping different responses for a variety of disaster events.

"We have an administrative team that will be on standby that week and will be on call in the event something occurs," said Runkle. "If we have large crowds we’re expecting to see a lot of dehydration, heat exhaustion, so we’re stocked up with cases of bottled water that we’ll have available. We have 150 cases of bottled water."

In case of a major event the medical staff has been going through multiple drills to prepare.

"We normally do seven to nine drills a year," he said. "We just change the scenarios to kind of reflect what’s going on in the environment. We just did a mass casualty drill three weeks ago."

Dr. Mary Carr is a general surgery resident at the University of Colorado. She is a medical resident in the ABC News Medical Unit.

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Thursday
Jul142016

Which Common Household Items Might Be Giving You Acne

ABC News(NEW YORK) — If you're looking to beat blemishes, you may want to check some everyday objects as the possible culprits.

Victoria Kirby, beauty director at Redbook magazine, shared the scoop on ABC News' Good Morning America Thursday on the common products that your body interacts with that can cause body acne:

A cotton pillowcase:


Dirt and oil build-up on pillow cases can block pores and trigger acne. Instead, sleep on a satin or silk pillowcase, which is much gentler on your face, Kirby said.

Your phone:


Think about how many times a day your fingers touch that screen, bringing with them a lot of bacteria. Then, every time you talk on the phone, all that icky stuff comes into contact with your face and can set off everything from pimples to irritation. Kirby suggests getting in the habit of wiping down your entire phone and screen every night with a disinfecting antibacterial wipe.

Tight clothing, helmets, straps, sports bras, shoulder pads:


Anything that causes pressure, friction, rubbing, squeezing can spark body blemishes. "When it's really tight against your skin, it's holding in sweat and bacteria," Kirby said. "Try to get in the habit after your workout, of taking off your sports bra or top immediately and showering."

Dermatologist and skin expert Dr. Rosemarie Ingleton joined GMA Thursday to discuss how common products could be making you break out and which beauty items to avoid.

"Avoid heavy oils, things like corn oil, olive oil, coconut oil, which everybody's using, and avoid heavy butters," Ingleton said. "Things that have cocoa butter in it is a real problem. Maybe castor oil, heavy cocoa butters. They're all problems. They're in common hair products, skin products, moisturizers, makeups even."

Ingleton said the best way to treat acne at home is to choose gentle, oil-free products. If you don't have a dermatologist, Ingleton suggests using over-the-counter products with salicylic acid and benzoyl peroxide.

Other tips: Morning and night, wash your face and be sure to remove all makeup before bed.

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Thursday
Jul142016

Prince Harry Takes HIV Test Live on Facebook

@kensingtonroyal(LONDON) -- Prince Harry underwent an HIV test Thursday that was broadcast live on the royal family's Facebook page to raise awareness for HIV/AIDS.

The test, which involved a 1-minute pin prick, was performed at Guy’s and St. Thomas’ hospital in London. The 31-year-old prince tested negative for HIV.

Harry, who admitted to some nerves, said he took the test, "to show how easy it is to get tested."

He added, "It's amazing how quick it is."



Harry, patron of the charity Sentebale, which raises awareness for HIV/AIDS, has pledged to increase the conversation around the once-taboo disease. Harry founded Sentebale, which means "forget me not," in memory of his late mother, Princess Diana.

Diana famously championed AIDS awareness in her life and was one of the first pioneers to destigmatize the shame surrounding those with AIDS and HIV.

Kensington Palace announced last month that Prince Harry would be devoting a significant amount of his charitable work to HIV awareness to carry on his mother's legacy.

Harry told viewers watching the Facebook live broadcast, "Gay, straight, black, white, ginger, whatever, why wouldn’t you just have a test?"

"We all shouldn’t be on the other side of the river saying, 'You should get the test,'" he said. "It should be normalized. Everybody should get it."

The fifth-in-line to the British throne will attend the International AIDS Conference in Durban, South Africa, next week. He is scheduled to speak alongside Sir Elton John and Prince Seeiso of Lesotho at the event.

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Wednesday
Jul132016

Comfort Dogs Travel to Dallas to Provide Support to Slain Police Officers' Colleagues

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) --  Six comfort dogs have traveled from across the country to Dallas to provide hope and comfort for families and coworkers grieving the loss of the five Dallas police officers killed by a sniper last week.

The golden retrievers were provided by Northbrook, Illinois-based Lutheran Church Charities, which also provided dogs for other tragedies, including the Pulse nightclub massacre in Orlando, the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting and the Boston Marathon bombings, President Tim Hetzner told ABC News.

 The comfort dogs worked overtime Wednesday following the funeral of three of the officers, visiting police headquarters. Hetzner said although the officers' colleagues are "tough" and "stoic" men, the they're grieving "extra hard."

"But the dogs help them talk about it," he said, regaling stories of how the officers and other grieving visitors "pull out their phones" and start showing off photos of their own dogs after interacting with the ones provided for their comfort.

"They're just lovin' on the dogs," Hetzner said.

 The roster of golden retrievers include Ruthy and Luther from Illinois, Katie from Nebraska, Rufus from Oklahoma, and Pax and Phoebe from Fort Worth, Texas. The Lutheran Church Charities Comfort Dogs, established by Hetzner in 2008, currently houses hundreds of golden retrievers and operates in 23 states and provides comfort to whoever asks for them.

Although the dogs are trained to provide comfort -- they were taught to be calm, lie on the ground and sit -- they pick up on the emotions of the people around them and require breaks every hour and a half to go for a walk, drink some water or even play with a ball, Hetzner said.

 The dogs provide non-judgmental, unconditional love to the people they serve, Hetzner said.

"That's the beauty of the dogs," he said. "They have a sixth sense when somebody is hurting."

The golden retrievers will return home Thursday morning, but they will return in the coming weeks to provide more comfort to Dallas police officers once the initial shock of the tragedy wears away, Hetzner said.

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

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