Your Health in the Headlines
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Extra! Extra! The Doctors deliver the latest health news making headlines!

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Deadly Drugs for Kids
Many common medications that you may have in your medicine cabinet can be fatal to children. E.R. physician Dr. Travis Stork warns that just a small amount or a single pill of drugs such as muscle relaxants, heart medications, prescription narcotics and sleeping pills can kill a young child.

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Find out how to prevent your children from finding your medication and what to do if they accidentally ingest them.


Do Celebrities Influence Medical Decisions?
Television, the Internet and other media platforms provide public figures with many ways to share their opinions, thoughts and beliefs. You may heed your favorite actor or actress' advice on the latest trends and styles, but is it safe to follow their medical advice?

Oftentimes celebrities use their status to raise awareness about diseases. Cyclist Lance Armstrong and tennis player Martina Navratilova use their fame to spread the word about forms of cancer.

Actress and activist Jenny McCarthy, whose son is autistic, joined The Doctors in 2009 to debate the controversies surrounding autism. "That was a pretty passionate day," pediatrician Dr. Jim Sears says. "When they have a child with something devastating, like autism, a lot of parents are frustrated because they don't know where to turn. Suddenly, a disease like that gets a voice with somebody like Jenny McCarthy, and suddenly that voice is heard.

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"The good that comes out of it can be that a lot of people start paying attention or more money gets into research," Dr. Jim adds. "But then there's the downside, too."

It can be dangerous to make medical decisions based only on what you hear from celebrities, because their information may be incorrect or their message may get misinterpreted. "If you ask Jenny, she doesn't say, 'Don't vaccinate your kids,'" Dr. Jim says. "She's just asking for safer vaccines, but I think the message gets distorted."

Dr. Travis encourages doing your own research and speaking with doctors about medical opinions you hear from celebrities.


Sheepskin Boot Dangers
If you own a pair of sheepskin boots, watch your step! Some podiatrists say long-term use of the comfortable footwear may put you at risk for severe foot and ankle injuries because of the lack of support provided.

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"I actually wear these from [The Doctors'] office to the studio," OB/GYN Dr. Lisa Masterson says. "They're very comfortable, but their usage is really for warmth. Usually in here, the studio's very cold, so before I put my heels on, I stay warm with [the boots]. But I don't walk around all over in them."

If you are planning on being on your feet for a long period of time, or going on a long walk or run, avoid the sheepskin boots and opt for a shoe with good foot and ankle support instead.


Flower Power
From depression to allergies, many people are turning to the healing powers of flowers to cure their ailments. They put drops of solutions made from essential oils of flowers under their tongue to get relief from their symptoms.

"A lot of medicines we have in pharmacies today are rooted in flowers, herbs, etc.," Dr. Travis says. "We know that flowers can have healing powers.

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"[But] just because something's made from a flower [doesn't mean it's safe]," Dr. Travis adds. "You've got to be careful. There are things out there in flowers that could be harmful."

In addition to being used medicinally, flowers can also offer aromatherapy benefits. "My favorite flower is the lily of the valley," Dr. Lisa says. "You smell that, and it calms you, takes you back to childhood. It's beautiful and lovely."


 

 


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OAD 7/13/10


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