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Books, tablets, lunch: Stuff can really start to weigh heavily in your kid’s school backpack. And so experts at the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS) are offering tips on backpack safety to parents as a new school year begins. That’s because heavy and improperly worn backpacks can trigger back, neck and shoulder-related pain in…  read on >

Your dog might be your heart’s best friend, if a new study is any indication. Researchers found that compared with people who had no pets, dog owners tended to have fewer risk factors for heart disease: They got more exercise, and had healthier diets and lower blood sugar levels. Even compared with other pet owners,…  read on >

“Eating the rainbow” is a great way to harness the different micronutrients in fruits and vegetables. Among the reds (and yellows), naturally sweet beets are a great source of folate, the B vitamin, fiber and potassium. If you shied away from beets as a kid, it’s time to give them a try. A fun introduction…  read on >

Critically ill kids are far more likely to survive if they’re treated at hospital emergency rooms that are well-equipped to care for children, a new study finds. Researchers analyzed data on more than 20,400 critically ill youngsters seen in ERs at 426 hospitals in Florida, Iowa, Massachusetts, Nebraska and New York state. The risk of…  read on >

A staggering number of teen girls are experiencing an insidious form of relationship abuse: reproductive coercion. Researchers report that it affects 1 in 8 adolescent girls who are sexually active. Reproductive coercion is a form of abuse in which a girl or woman is pressured into pregnancy. From a male partner threatening to leave if…  read on >

Do you eat healthy during the week, then ease off the brakes on the weekend? You’re not alone. But such a five days on-two days off eating regimen can erode diet quality, according to a study published recently in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Not only did participants take in more…  read on >

(HealthDay News) — Norovirus is the most common cause of foodborne diarrhea and vomiting, says the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Those with norovirus may feel sick for several days before getting better. To help prevent norovirus, the CDC suggests: Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water. Carefully wash fruits and vegetables…  read on >

(HealthDay News) — Earwax protects your ear canal by trapping dirt and slowing the growth of bacteria, says Mayo Clinic. Blockages created by earwax often develop after people try to clean their ears with cotton swabs. This can push the wax deeper into the ear and cause serious damage. Mayo says wax removal is most…  read on >

Imagine a single pill loaded with a battery of heart medications that you take once a day to cut your chances of heart attack, stroke and heart failure. A new clinical trial has turned that idea into reality. The “polypill” reduced the risk of life-threatening heart health problems by more than one-third during a five-year…  read on >

The health risks of sugary drinks, from juice to soda, are well known. They can lead to overweight and diabetes, stroke and other problems in the brain, including poorer memory and smaller brain volume. But diet sodas aren’t the answer. A number of studies have found an association between artificially sweetened beverages and an increased…  read on >