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Cars, Pumpkin Carving Top List of Halloween Dangers

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — One of the scari­est things about Hal­loween is the high rate of mishaps. The Con­sumer Prod­uct Safety Com­mis­sion reported more than 3,500 Halloween-related injuries in Octo­ber and Novem­ber last year.

The sta­tis­tics aren’t meant to frighten, said Kate Carr, the pres­i­dent and CEO of Safe Kids World­wide, a con­sumer safety group. Rather, they’re meant to get par­ents focused on safety.

We want every­one to have fun on Hal­loween,” she said. “That’s why it’s impor­tant to have a con­ver­sa­tion with your kids and do some planning.”

Here are tips on avoid­ing Hal­loween dan­gers:

Traf­fic Fatalities

Hal­loween ranks as the third-deadliest day for pedes­tri­ans, accord­ing to a recent National High­way Safety and Traf­fic Admin­is­tra­tion analy­sis that exam­ined a quarter-century’s worth of data.

How­ever, it’s the dead­liest for kids. Chil­dren are twice as likely to be hit by a car and killed on Hal­loween than on a typ­i­cal night, accord­ing to the Cen­ters for Dis­ease Con­trol and Prevention.

Carr advised par­ents to put reflec­tive tape on cos­tumes or have their child carry an item that glows or reflects car lights. She also urged par­ents to accom­pany kids younger than 12 on trick-or-treat rounds.

Kids who are younger than that can’t accu­rately judge speed or dis­tance to gauge how fast a car is going,” she said.

Food Aller­gies

One in 13 Amer­i­can chil­dren have been diag­nosed with food aller­gies, accord­ing to the allergy aware­ness group Food Allergy Research & Edu­ca­tion. Candy con­tain­ing soy, wheat, eggs, peanuts or tree nuts can some­times cause life-threatening symp­toms, which means trick-or-treating is usu­ally off-limits to food aller­gic kids.

This year, FARE has intro­duced pump­kins painted the color teal — the color of food allergy aware­ness — to alert par­ents to houses that give out small toys instead of candy. Peo­ple also can down­load teal pump­kin posters from the FARE website.

Accept­able trick-or-treat alter­na­tives include glow sticks, pen­cils, stick­ers and plas­tic vam­pire fangs, FARE advised. How­ever, some non-food items may still con­tain aller­gens. Play-Doh, for exam­ple, con­tains wheat. And some toys are made of latex, a poten­tial allergen.

Cuts and Bruises

Of the 3,500 Halloween-related injuries on the CPSC list, the most com­mon mishaps included burns, lac­er­a­tions from pumpkin-carving and injuries from col­li­sions related to impaired vision.

If you are plan­ning on carv­ing jack-o-lantern, make sure an adult is present and that a child is old enough to han­dle a knife or carv­ing tool prop­erly,” said Carr, adding that par­ents should con­sider using a battery-operated can­dles with jack-o-lanterns to reduce fire risk and should ensure masks and head­dresses don’t obscure a child’s abil­ity to see where they are going.

Stairs

Chil­dren ages 10 to 14 sus­tained the great­est pro­por­tion of injuries, a recent study in the jour­nal Pedi­atrics revealed. They accounted for more than 30 per­cent of the calami­ties reported on Hal­loween day. The most com­mon Halloween-related bumps and bruises came from falling down stairs and trip­ping on floors — though about 4 per­cent of the injuries involved beds and pillows.

To cut down on trips and falls, Carr said, par­ents should take a care­ful look at their child’s cos­tume to make sure they don’t drag or impede movement.

Tighten up those shoe laces so they are ready to hop, skip and jump from door to door,” she said.

Fol­low @ABCNewsRadio
Copy­right 2014 ABC News Radio

 

Maine Scrambles with How to Enforce Quarantine Against Ebola Nurse

ABC News(AUGUSTA, Maine) — Maine offi­cials are scram­bling to fig­ure out what to do about return­ing Ebola nurse Kaci Hickox, who has vowed to dis­obey its quar­an­tine rules.

The gov­er­nor and other offi­cials are seek­ing legal author­ity to enforce what started out as a vol­un­tary quar­an­tine, and state police are mon­i­tor­ing Hickox’s Fort Kent home “for both her pro­tec­tion and the health of the com­mu­nity,” accord­ing to a state­ment Wednes­day from the Maine governor’s office.

We are very con­cerned about her safety and health and that of the com­mu­nity,” Maine Gov. Paul LeP­age said in the state­ment. “We are explor­ing all of our options for pro­tect­ing the health and well-being of the health­care worker, any­one who comes in con­tact with her, the Fort Kent com­mu­nity and all of Maine. While we cer­tainly respect the rights of one indi­vid­ual, we must be vig­i­lant in pro­tect­ing 1.3 mil­lion Main­ers, as well as any­one who vis­its our great state.”

Hickox, 33, was treat­ing Ebola patients in Sierra Leone for Doc­tors With­out Bor­ders. She returned to the United States on Fri­day, land­ing in Newark Lib­erty Inter­na­tional Air­port in New Jer­sey, where she was ques­tioned and quar­an­tined in an out­door tent through the week­end despite hav­ing no symp­toms. She reg­is­tered a fever on an infrared ther­mome­ter at the air­port but an oral ther­mome­ter at Uni­ver­sity Hos­pi­tal in Newark showed that she actu­ally had no fever, she said.

After twice test­ing neg­a­tive for the deadly virus, Hickox was released and returned home to Maine on Mon­day. The fol­low­ing day, the state’s health com­mis­sioner announced that Maine would join the hand­ful of states going beyond fed­eral guide­lines and ask­ing that return­ing Ebola health work­ers self-quarantine.

Our true desire is for a vol­un­tary sep­a­ra­tion from the pub­lic. We do not want to have to legally enforce an in-home quar­an­tine,” Main Health Com­mis­sioner Mary May­hew said in a state­ment. “We are con­fi­dent that the self­less health work­ers, who were brave enough to care for Ebola patients in a for­eign coun­try, will be will­ing to take rea­son­able steps to pro­tect the res­i­dents of their own coun­try. How­ever, we are will­ing to pur­sue legal author­ity if nec­es­sary to ensure risk is min­i­mized for Mainers.”

But Hickox said she doesn’t think it is reasonable.

I will go to court to attain my free­dom,” Hickox told ABC’s Good Morn­ing Amer­ica Wednes­day via Skype from her home­town of Fort Kent. “I have been com­pletely asymp­to­matic since I’ve been here. I feel absolutely great.”

The U.S. Cen­ters for Dis­ease Con­trol and Pre­ven­tion doesn’t con­sider health work­ers who treated Ebola patients in West Africa to be at “high risk” for catch­ing Ebola if they were wear­ing pro­tec­tive gear, accord­ing to new guide­lines announced this week. Since they have “some risk,” the CDC rec­om­mends that they undergo mon­i­tor­ing — track­ing symp­toms and body tem­per­a­ture twice a day — avoid pub­lic trans­porta­tion and take other pre­cau­tions. But the CDC doesn’t require home quar­an­tines for these workers.

Some­one isn’t con­ta­gious until Ebola symp­toms appear, accord­ing to the CDC. And even then, trans­mis­sion requires con­tact with bod­ily flu­ids such as blood and vomit.

I remain really con­cerned by these manda­tory quar­an­tine poli­cies for aid work­ers,” Hickox said Wednes­day. “I think we’re just only adding to the stigma­ti­za­tion that, again, is not based on sci­ence or evidence.”

Fol­low @ABCNewsRadio
Copy­right 2014 ABC News Radio

 

Runner Takes on NYC Marathon After Nearly Losing His Leg

Kevin Dun­bar(NEW YORK) — Among the thou­sands of run­ners in the 2014 New York Marathon aim­ing to break per­sonal or even world records, one run­ner will sim­ply be happy to cross the fin­ish line on his own two feet.

Ken Dun­bar, 33, nearly lost his right leg three years ago after an acci­dent dur­ing a soc­cer game. A rare com­pli­ca­tion from a sin­gle kick dur­ing the game led to swelling and tis­sue loss in Dunbar’s leg.

It started when a player acci­den­tally kicked him squarely on his right calf. Dun­bar said he felt a pain sim­i­lar to a cramp.

When you get a cramp, it feels like the mus­cles are tight­en­ing and won’t stop pulling,” the Cincin­nati man told ABC News. “Over the course of the next hour or so, it kept get­ting worse. “

By the end of the late-night soc­cer game, Dun­bar was in the hos­pi­tal unable to put even the slight­est pres­sure on his right leg.

Dun­bar said doc­tors at the hos­pi­tal quickly real­ized he had dan­ger­ous con­di­tion called com­part­ment syn­drome, where the blood sup­ply is cut off from part of the limb because of an injury and swelling.

The swelling starts to push in on bone and all of that and it cuts off blood cir­cu­la­tion,” Dun­bar said.

A hematoma or a col­lec­tion of blood sim­i­lar to a bruise in Dunbar’s leg caused swelling in his lower right leg, cut­ting off blood flow to the area. Severe cases of com­part­ment syn­drome can result in tis­sue death that leads to amputation.

For at least one day he was still unsure whether he was going to get to keep his leg.

They were check­ing the pulse every hour,” he recalled. “If I started to lose a pulse in my leg. They were going to amputate.”

To relieve the swelling, doc­tors made inci­sions from the bot­tom of Dunbar’s knee to his ankle. When tis­sue started to die in his leg, Dun­bar said doc­tors had to go in and cut it out. He spent more than a week in a hos­pi­tal bed on mor­phine with no chance of quick recovery.

As he lay in bed, high on painkillers, Dun­bar remem­bers one moment clearly.

If I can get through this week with­out [their] tak­ing my leg, I am going to start run­ning again,” he recalled thinking.

When Dun­bar was finally released, he still had his leg, but was unable to put any pres­sure on his injured leg, much less run on it.

I was on crutches and it was wrapped up so much and it was very, very painful,” he remembered.

But even at that early point he was deter­mined to get back into a race.

Dur­ing four months of intense phys­i­cal train­ing, Dun­bar focused on one goal: He wanted to run.

While he had been a run­ner in high school, he spent over a decade try­ing out other sports as he mar­ried and had three chil­dren. He said the acci­dent made him want to get back to his roots as a runner.

We fought through phys­i­cal ther­apy, which was months and months of phys­i­cal labor,” he said. “They got me back to where I was able to run.”

When he was finally approved to run, Dun­bar set his goal on his first race in years: a half-marathon.

I did my first half-marathon,” Dun­bar said. “As soon as I got done, I said I need to do a full.”

Dun­bar has since run nine marathons in six states and plans to run in a marathon in all 50 states. But the father of three is espe­cially excited to run his first New York marathon along with around 50,000 participants.

New York has been on my bucket list,” Dun­bar said. “Between New York and Boston, those are the two that I want to do the most. [New York is] the one every run­ner wants to do.”

After fight­ing back from his injury, Dun­bar says he doesn’t mind the lengthy train­ing it takes to run a marathon.

With any train­ing you’re going to have your ups and downs and bumps and bruises,” he said. “That’s part of what makes marathon­ing so enjoy­able. [After] 18 to 23 weeks of train­ing, you don’t know how it’s going to go.”

Dun­bar said the race will be just the sec­ond time he’s vis­ited New York. But that this time he expects to see much more of the city.

The fact I’m going to go through all five bor­oughs and all dif­fer­ent types of New York City,” Dun­bar cited as what he’s most excited about.

The fans in New York, there is no com­par­i­son,” he said.

Fol­low @ABCNewsRadio
Copy­right 2014 ABC News Radio

 

Hidden Camera Records More than 100 Catcalls Aimed at New York Woman

AbleStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — Aided by a hid­den cam­era, a New York City woman has exposed what she says hap­pens to her every day on the city’s streets.

Shoshanna Roberts says she was cat­called over 100 times while being filmed over the course of 10 hours.

It was all types peo­ple,” Roberts told ABC News. “All col­ors, shapes, sizes [and] ages.”

Roberts filmed her first-hand view for Hol­laback!, a non-profit orga­ni­za­tion that raises aware­ness about street harassment.

The record­ing of Roberts, an actress, is now being used by the orga­ni­za­tion as a PSA titled, “10 Hours of Walk­ing in NYC as a Woman.”

I wanted to give it to guys who would maybe con­sider whistling at a girl,” said Rob Bliss, the owner of his own cre­ative firm who reached out to Hol­laback! with the idea of cre­at­ing the PSA.

To see things from the other side and to really feel for the first time, going through this every day, I feel kind of sick,” said Bliss, who cap­tured the cat­call­ing with a GoPro cam­era hid­den on his back while he walked in front of Roberts.

View­ers of the PSA have responded with com­ments online like, “No woman should ever have to expe­ri­ence this,” and, “All you men should be ashamed of yourself.”

The woman at the cen­ter of the cat­calls says it is time for change. “It is not accept­able,” Roberts said. “Enough is enough.”

Fol­low @ABCNewsRadio
Copy­right 2014 ABC News Radio

 

POLL: Ebola Worries Ease a Bit Despite Preparedness Concerns

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — Ebola wor­ries have eased slightly in the lat­est ABC News/Wash­ing­ton Post poll, despite a broad sense among Amer­i­cans that their local hos­pi­tals are unpre­pared to deal with the virus — and con­tin­ued pref­er­ence for a more robust response by the fed­eral government.

After the dif­fi­cul­ties at Texas Health Pres­by­ter­ian Hos­pi­tal in Dal­las, where two nurses were infected, just 29 per­cent in this national sur­vey think the staff at their local hos­pi­tals is ade­quately trained to deal with Ebola cases. Six in 10 think not.

[See PDF with full results, charts and tables here.]

The fact that both nurses recov­ered — and just one fur­ther case has been iden­ti­fied — may have done at least a lit­tle to calm fears of a broad out­break. In inter­views Thurs­day through Sun­day, 36 per­cent of Amer­i­cans expressed worry that they or an imme­di­ate fam­ily mem­ber might catch the Ebola virus, down by 7 per­cent­age points from two weeks before. And while 60 per­cent are con­cerned about an epi­demic occur­ring in the United States, that’s eased from 65 percent.

Fur­ther, the new poll, pro­duced for ABC by Langer Research Asso­ciates, shows an 8-point increase in Barack Obama’s approval rat­ing for han­dling the issue, to 49 per­cent, now exceed­ing the 41 per­cent who dis­ap­prove. There’s a closer divi­sion on the response by the fed­eral Cen­ters for Dis­ease Con­trol, 47–45 per­cent; it’s said it could have moved more force­fully in pro­vid­ing over­sight in Dallas.

Another result shows steady major­ity con­fi­dence — 63 per­cent — in the abil­ity of the fed­eral gov­ern­ment to respond effec­tively to an out­break. That said, 61 per­cent also say the gov­ern­ment should do more to try to pre­vent fur­ther cases in the United States.

The pub­lic by 46–37 per­cent also says the United States is not doing enough to try to stop the spread of Ebola in Africa; on this ques­tion 17 per­cent have no opinion.

Inter­views for this sur­vey were con­ducted before debate erupted over moves by some state gov­ern­ments to impose greater restric­tions than the CDC’s on peo­ple who’ve been to West African coun­tries affected by Ebola. Regard­less, 70 per­cent sup­port restrict­ing entry to the United States by such peo­ple — sim­i­lar to the level two weeks ago — indi­cat­ing gen­eral sup­port for aggres­sive efforts to pre­vent spread of the disease.

AWARENESS and WORRY This sur­vey also finds a high level of aware­ness about the dis­ease: Eighty-one per­cent feel that they under­stand how the Ebola virus is trans­mit­ted among humans — an impor­tant result, because feel­ing informed relates to concern.

Specif­i­cally, wor­ries about catch­ing the virus, and about a U.S. epi­demic, are sub­stan­tially lower among those who say they under­stand how it’s trans­mit­ted. These con­cerns are low­est among the 37 per­cent who feel they know “very well” how trans­mis­sion occurs, under­scor­ing the role of edu­ca­tion in quelling pub­lic fears.

Edu­ca­tion fac­tors into feel­ing informed — among col­lege grad­u­ates, 91 per­cent say they’re well informed about how Ebola is trans­mit­ted, includ­ing 51 per­cent “very” well informed. Those num­bers decline to 76 and 30 per­cent, respec­tively, among those who lack a degree.

GROUPS and CHANGES Con­cerns about Ebola are con­cen­trated in some groups. Worry about catch­ing the dis­ease remains par­tic­u­larly high among less-educated adults — nearly twice as high among those with­out a col­lege degree (42 per­cent wor­ried) com­pared with col­lege grad­u­ates (24 per­cent). Con­cerns about a U.S. epi­demic, sim­i­larly, are 23 points higher among the less-educated group, 68 vs. 45 percent.

That said, some of the great­est changes from two weeks ago are among more-concerned groups. Worry about catch­ing Ebola is down by 8 points among non-graduates com­pared with ear­lier this month, and con­cern about an epi­demic is down by 6 points in this group.

Among other groups, worry about an epi­demic has sub­sided among Repub­li­cans and con­ser­v­a­tives, by 11 and 8 points, respec­tively. Nonethe­less, both remain much more apt than oth­ers to say the gov­ern­ment should do more to try to stop the spread of the dis­ease in the United States — putting these groups in the some­what unusual posi­tion of favor­ing more, not less, gov­ern­ment action.

Women are 10 points more likely than men to express worry that they or a fam­ily mem­ber might catch the dis­ease, and 9 points more apt to say they’re con­cerned about an epi­demic. There’s also a sharp racial divi­sion, with wor­ries about catch­ing Ebola 22 points higher among non­whites than whites.

METHODOLOGYThis ABC News/Wash­ing­ton Post poll was con­ducted by tele­phone Oct. 23–26, 2014, in Eng­lish and Span­ish, among a ran­dom national sam­ple of 1,204 adults, includ­ing land­line and cell-phone-only respon­dents. Results have a mar­gin of sam­pling error of 3 points, includ­ing the survey’s design effect.

The sur­vey was pro­duced for ABC News by Langer Research Asso­ciates of New York, N.Y., with sam­pling, data col­lec­tion and tab­u­la­tion by Abt-SRBI of New York, N.Y.

Fol­low @ABCNewsRadio
Copy­right 2014 ABC News Radio

 

More Parents Find Nutrition Labels Really Are Helpful

iStock/Thinkstock(ANN ARBOR, Mich.) — Over the years, nutri­tion labels have become part of the super­mar­ket shop­ping expe­ri­ence even if many Amer­i­cans still don’t pay much atten­tion to them.

For­tu­nately, the num­bers are trend­ing upwards, at least among par­ents, accord­ing to the Mott Children’s Hos­pi­tal National Poll on Children’s Health.

In the sur­vey of nearly 1,500 par­ents, four out of 10 moms say they read nutri­tion labels “very often” or “always” as com­pared to 35 per­cent of dads.

Mean­while, ten per­cent of moth­ers and 16 per­cent of fathers admit they don’t look at the labels while shopping.

In terms of how much the nutri­tion labels influ­ence their pur­chases, 46 per­cent of moms and 33 per­cent of dads said either “very often or always.”

What tops the list when it comes to which nutri­ent par­ents regard as “very impor­tant?” It’s sug­ars in both cases, although women also say that pro­teins and dietary fiber are also “very important.”

Fol­low @ABCNewsRadio
Copy­right 2014 ABC News Radio

 

Fatalities Jump as More People Ride Bikes

iStock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) — More Amer­i­cans in recent years are bik­ing as a means of stay­ing fit and reduc­ing trans­porta­tion costs. How­ever, the down­side to this phe­nom­e­non is that more bik­ers are also dying on U.S. roads.

The Gov­er­nors High­way Safety Asso­ci­a­tion reports that between 2010 and 2012, the num­ber of bicy­clists involved in fatal col­li­sions with vehi­cles jumped 16 per­cent from 621 to 722.

The researchers wouldn’t say con­clu­sively that an increase of peo­ple on bikes was directly related to a jump in deaths although the signs cer­tainly point in that direction.

Dur­ing the first year the asso­ci­a­tion com­piled fig­ures in 1975, there were just over 1,000 deaths as the result of crashes involv­ing cars. Back then, the over­whelm­ing major­ity of peo­ple killed were under 20 years old. Today, most of those killed are over 20.

The study also showed that two out of three bicy­clists killed in 2012 were not wear­ing helmets.

Another dis­turb­ing find­ing is that 25 per­cent of bik­ers over the age of 16 who died had been drink­ing alco­hol with many at or over a blood alco­hol level of 0.08 per­cent, which is legally drunk.

Fol­low @ABCNewsRadio
Copy­right 2014 ABC News Radio

 

Modern Communication Is Essential to Healthy Family Relationships

iStock/Thinkstock(LAWRENCE, Kan.) — While par­ents might com­plain that their kids are too involved with tech­nol­ogy, their chil­dren might pos­si­bly have a big­ger gripe that mom and dad don’t know much about today’s many modes of communication.

In that case Uni­ver­sity of Kansas’ Jen­nifer Schon hap­pens to side with the younger gen­er­a­tion. She says if par­ents really want to under­stand their kids bet­ter, they need to enhance their com­mu­ni­ca­tion skills.

Upon ask­ing grown chil­dren ages 18 to 29 how they share and exchange infor­ma­tion with their folks using vir­tu­ally every­thing from land­lines to Snapchat, the respon­dents of a sur­vey said their rela­tion­ships grew stronger based on how many chan­nels of com­mu­ni­ca­tions were used.

Tak­ing into account that some par­ents have a hard time com­mu­ni­cat­ing with their chil­dren, Schon con­tends that using social net­works and other tech­nolo­gies can cer­tainly help.

Mean­while, when asked to pick the bet­ter com­mu­ni­ca­tor out of their par­ents, the major­ity said their moms, mainly because they were usu­ally eas­ier to get in con­tact with than their dear old dad.

Fol­low @ABCNewsRadio
Copy­right 2014 ABC News Radio