Karen Springen

Stories by Karen Springen

  • PUBLISHING: A NEW 'INSPIRATION'

    With a nod to God, next month Simon & Schuster will become the first mainstream publisher to launch its own religion imprint for children. Little Simon Inspirations, the new faith-based line, will go up against Zonderkidz and Tommy Nelson, established Christian publishers that now dominate the thriving religious kid's lit market.Inspirations is an answer to a Christian market that is becoming more mainstream, says Robin Corey, publisher of S&S's novelty, media and teen publishing division. "[The audience for these books] is not what we have always thought of as the traditional Christian market," she says. "It's Joe Everybody. When a tsunami hits, you want to be reassuring to your kids." The new line, which includes 13 titles this year, will skip Bible stories and focus instead on books like Karen Hill's upcoming "Finding the Golden Ruler," which teach Christian values without delving into specific doctrine.Which is not to say that the line lacks church cred--all Little Simon...
  • HEALTH: CARDED FOR DRUGS

    Last week the uninsured caught a small break on the high price of prescription drugs. Ten pharmaceutical companies, including Pfizer and AstraZeneca, unveiled the Together Rx Access card, which will give some 36 million Americans without health coverage the chance to save roughly 25 to 40 percent on select prescriptions, including top sellers Lipitor, Synthroid and Zoloft. With the card, a patient would pay $7.23 for a Viagra tablet instead of about $10. But not everyone qualifies. The program is only for legal U.S. residents who lack public or private prescription-drug coverage, who are ineligible for Medicare and who earn less than $30,000 a year (for a single person) or $60,000 (for a family of four). To apply, call 800-444-4106 or go to togetherrxaccess.com. And to see if you qualify for federal help instead, visit the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services at medicare.gov. If your drug is not on the list, check if its manufacturer is among the handful, like Wyeth (wyeth...
  • ARTFUL AGING

    On his desk at the University of Kentucky, Prof. David Snowdon displays an artistic treasure: a ceramic sculpture of Santa Claus perched atop a John Deere tractor. The artist, Sister Esther Boor, gave it to him before her death in 2002. At 107, she was the oldest participant in the research project Snowdon directs, the university's groundbreaking Nun Study. Since its start in 1986, the program has investigated the relationship between aging and Alzheimer's disease by tracking the health of 678 Roman Catholic nuns over 70. Sister Esther took up ceramics after she retired at 97. Snowdon cherishes her reply on first being asked to join the project: "She said she was too busy to be in a study of old people."Snowdon still isn't sure what kept Sister Esther so vibrant for so many years. But the secret of her kind of sustained creative energy is an increasingly valuable one. People are living longer lives than ever before. What matters now is to make those extra years more fulfilling--and...
  • HEALTH: EARLIER ONSETS

    As the American Academy of Pediatrics enters its 75th year, it can point to huge advances in children's health, such as vaccines for polio, chickenpox and measles. But Junior may be pox-free and have the arteries of a middle-aged man. Today, because of child obesity, doctors are increasingly diagnosing adult diseases in children. "The number of kids we're seeing in our practice with elevated cholesterol or type 2 diabetes has at least tripled in the last five years," says Denver pediatric cardiologist Reginald Washington, co-chairman of the AAP's task force on obesity. In the past 30 years, the percentage of kids who are overweight has quadrupled, to 16 percent. The result is a rise in cholesterol levels, hypertension, type 2 diabetes (in part from exercising too little) and bone and joint problems (from carrying excess weight). This year the AAP plans to introduce pamphlets and a program to help pediatricians counsel families on how to prevent obesity through healthy habits like...
  • TIP SHEET

    Travel: Getaways with Ganache ...
  • HOLIDAYS: ALL LIT UP

    It's the most wonderful time of the year... for department-store displays. TIP SHEET picks some top windows to peer into.Marshall Field's, Chicago. State Street store features an 11-window "Snow White" display--with a three-foot evil queen in leather and velvet.Neiman Marcus, Houston. You don't need a net to catch giant suspended butterflies inspired by Puccini's classic "Madame Butterfly."Macy's Union Square, San Francisco. Three adopt-a-pet windows in this store have already found homes for 100-plus cats and dogs.Saks Fifth Avenue, New York. James Patterson's new story, "SantaKid," comes to life at the Rockefeller Center store (top).Bergdorf Goodman, New York. Couture and costumes deck the fantasy-inspiring displays at this Fifth Avenue luxury store (below).
  • ADS: WHAT'S ON WHEN YOU'RE SNACKING?

    A study in the new issue of the journal Pediatrics says that even during the supposedly kid-friendly pre-9 p.m. time, one in five commercials aired during major sporting events depicted violence or unsafe behavior. For parents, "the take-home message is heightened awareness," says coauthor Robert Tamburro, a pediatrician at Penn State's Hershey Medical Center. To complete the study, pediatricians assessed 1,185 commercials that aired before 9 p.m. on 50 major sports programs during a one-year period--including the '03 Super Bowl. They didn't analyze the actual events, halftimes or pre- and postgame shows. Fourteen percent of the ads showed unsafe behavior (defined as any action that could have harmful consequences or that went against the injury-prevention guidelines of national organizations). Six percent depicted violence. The Super Bowl was the worst offender; a spokesperson for ABC, which broadcast the event, says the network "reviews every spot to ensure that behavior is safe...
  • BOOKS: GETTING RELIGION

    The holidays can prompt kids to ask complex questions about religion. To help answer them, parents can turn to these new, thought-provoking books:Kaddish for Grandpa in Jesus' Name, Amen by James Howe ($16.95; ages 4 to 8).A 5-year-old girl raised by a Christian-born dad and a Jewish mom struggles with her grandfather's death.Ayat Jamilah: Beautiful Signs by Sarah Conover ($19.95; ages 9 to 12).This anthology vividly tells traditional stories from all corners of the Muslim world.Godless by Pete Hautman ($15.95; young adult).A rebellious 15-year-old starts his own church. This National Book Award winner can prompt a discussion on the meaning of faith.Walking the Bible by Bruce Feiler ($16.99; ages 7 and up).A kids' version of the 2001 best seller, it takes readers on Feiler's 10,000-mile trek to Biblical sites like Jerusalem, the Euphrates River and Mount Sinai.
  • COLLEGE MAJOR: WORKOUT

    Talk about sweating your courseload: Purdue University, in West Lafayette, Ind., will become the first college nationwide to offer a four-year degree with a concentration in personal-fitness training. Next fall undergrads will start the program, which will include stints in commercial health clubs and cardiac rehab sites. It should be popular: about 70 percent of Purdue's health and fitness majors say personal-fitness training is their career goal--no doubt partly because the median pay of $25 an hour is more lucrative than other fitness positions. And there should be jobs. Employment of recreation and fitness workers is expected to grow as much as 35 percent by 2012, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Consumers will also benefit: these new trainers should be able to pass the American College of Sports Medicine's new personal-trainer exam, an attempt to help the industry and clients identify who's competent. Purdue's program helps legitimize personal training, says Mike...
  • USING GENES AS MEDICINE

    At 18, Ashanthi DeSilva of suburban Cleveland is a living symbol of one of the great intellectual achievements of the 20th century. Born with an extremely rare and usually fatal disorder that left her without a functioning immune system (the "bubble-boy disease," named after an earlier victim who was kept alive for years in a sterile plastic tent), she was treated beginning in 1990 with a revolutionary new therapy that sought to correct the defect at its very source, in the genes of her white blood cells. It worked. Although her last gene-therapy treatment was in 1992, she is completely healthy with normal immune function, according to one of the doctors who treated her, W. French Anderson of the University of Southern California. Researchers have long dreamed of treating diseases from hemophilia to cancer by replacing mutant genes with normal ones. And the dreaming may continue for decades more. "There will be a gene-based treatment for essentially every disease," Anderson says, ...
  • HIGHER ED: MAKING THE GRADE?

    For the first time in more than three decades, foreign enrollment in U.S. higher-ed institutions decreased last year, according to Open Doors 2004, an annual report just released by the Institute of International Education. The study blames the 2.4 percent drop (nearly 5 percent for undergrads) on problems getting visas, rising tuition, stronger recruitment by foreign universities and perceptions that international students may not be welcome. Some also blame the "Vietnam factor." (The last real enrollment drop was in 1971-72, when young people were still disillusioned with U.S. involvement in Vietnam.) "Rightly or wrongly, they perceive the United States as unilateral and not sensitive," says American Council on Education president David Ward. "Then it may not matter how well we've got the visa process improved."The stakes are high for U.S. schools. International students bring more than $13 billion to the economy, according to the U.S. Commerce Department. They also tend to pay...
  • IN THE NEWS: GO EASY ON THE 'E'

    To reduce your risk of heart disease, exercise, eat right and stop smoking--but think twice before taking high-dose vitamin E supplements. Last week researchers reported at an American Heart Association meeting and online in the Annals of Internal Medicine (annals.org) that supplements of the popular antioxidant were associated with a higher risk of death. "If your doctor tells you to take vitamin E, say, 'What is the evidence for it?'" says Johns Hopkins University researcher Edgar Miller, lead author of the study. Researchers, who analyzed 19 previous studies involving 135,967 people who took extra vitamin E alone or with other vitamins, found that participants who took at least 400 international units per day (the amount in most supplements) were 5 percent more likely to die than people who took placebos--possibly because, at high doses, the vitamin may interfere with clotting. Standard multivitamins contain 30 to 45IU of vitamin E, an amount that the study found may be...
  • HEALTH: LEAF BEHIND THE SUFFERING

    A football injury makes a better story, but raking leaves could be the sport that sidelines you this fall. To avoid injuries, follow these tips from the National Athletic Trainers' Association (nata.org). Dress in layers that you can shed as you work up a sweat, with gloves to prevent blisters--and, in some regions, snakebites. If your back has been injured before, wear a simple brace (available for about $20; ask the pharmacist for fitting details). Stretch your shoulders before you hit the yard, drink plenty of water to avoid dehydration and start slow. Rake strokes that are short and steady are the best, so that you don't overextend yourself and pull a muscle. Don't overstuff trash bags, either. Move the bags around in a wheelbarrow--and if you get tired, recruit the kids to lend a hand. But make sure you bend your knees and lift with your legs, not your back, while you load the bags in. Because "repetitive activity creates soreness," says Marjorie Albohm, a certified athletic...
  • HEALTH: KIDS UNDER THE KNIFE

    Ruby Juarez grew up feeling self-conscious about what she calls her "superbig" nose. When talking to friends, she often covered part of her face out of embarrassment. Classmates took to calling her "Shrek nose." For her 17th birthday, Juarez's father finally agreed to pay for a rhinoplasty, which Beverly Hills cosmetic surgeon Robert Kotler performed last June. Now fully healed, Juarez no longer gets teased. "I look normal now," she says. Her advice: "Get whatever your flaws are fixed, because it's really worth it."To most parents, that must sound like a terrifying prospect. But more teenagers like Juarez are asking for--and getting--cosmetic procedures. Last year doctors performed 331,886 of them on Americans 18 and younger--a 48 percent jump over the previous year, reports the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS). The increase comes partly from the popularity of TV shows like "Extreme Makeover" and "The Swan," which have captured the imaginations of younger and older...
  • THE ECONOMICS OF THE FLU

    Shortages of flu vaccine are nothing new in America, but this year's is a whopper. Until last week, it appeared that 100 million Americans would have access to flu shots this fall. Then British authorities, concerned about quality-control problems at a production plant in Liverpool, barred all further shipments by the Chiron Corp. Overnight, the U.S. vaccine supply dwindled by nearly half--and federal health officials found themselves making an unusual plea. Instead of beseeching us all to get vaccinated, they're now urging most healthy people between the ages of 2 and 64 not to. "This re-emphasizes the fragility of our vaccine supply," says Dr. Martin Myers of the National Network for Immunization Information, "and the lack of redundancy in our system."Why is such a basic health service so easily knocked out? Mainly because private companies have had little incentive to pursue it. To create a single dose of flu vaccine, a manufacturer has to grow live virus in a 2-week-old...
  • HEALTH: IT'S OVER YOUR HEAD

    An estimated 150,000 kids suffer a sports-related concussion each year. With soccer and football season in full swing, here's what you can do to help your son or daughter stay safe:Get the right equipment. Last year U.S. Soccer and the National Association of High Schools allowed soccer players to wear head protection for the first time. But many doctors want to see more proof that head guards work. "It may create a false sense of security," says Kevin Guskiewicz, director of the Sports Medicine Research Laboratory at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and lead author of a position statement on managing sports-related concussions in the current issue of the Journal of Athletic Training (nata.org). Kids may be better off with a simple mouth guard.Strengthen neck muscles and boost technique. If your child uses weight training and resistance training to strengthen his shoulders, upper back and neck, he's less likely to suffer a concussion, says Eric Small, chair of the...
  • IN THE NEWS: INSTANT RECALL

    Last week Merck pulled its blockbuster arthritis-and-pain-relief drug Vioxx from the market. This week the 1.27 million Americans who were taking it are wondering what to do.Don't panic. Though a three-year study found that patients who had been taking Vioxx for more than 18 months increased their risk of heart attack and stroke, the overall incidence was small. "The risk to any one patient was very low," says Dartmouth's Dr. John Baron, chair of the study's steering committee.Stop taking Vioxx, but hold on to your bottle. Merck plans to reimburse you for unused tablets. See vioxx.com or call 888-368-4699.Call your doctor. Your physician might prescribe Pfizer's Celebrex, which, like Vioxx, is a cox-2 inhibitor. Some doctors worry that the entire class of drugs may cause problems, but Pfizer says Celebrex has shown no increased cardiovascular or stroke risk in long-term studies. Your other options may include ibuprofen or naproxen, which increase the risk of ulcers and...
  • HEALTH: DON'T CALL ME 'FOUR EYES'

    Earlier this year Shaina Borowicz, 13, switched from glasses to colored contacts. "I don't think I look good in glasses," she says. Naturally brown-eyed, Borowicz (right) each day chooses from her collection of five colors: two shades of blue, two shades of green and honey. When she wears her favorites, Acuvue's Sapphire Blue, girls--and guys--tell her, "I love your eyes." And at her private school, where kids are required to wear khakis and polo shirts, colored eyes are a permissible fashion statement.No self-conscious child wants to hide behind a pair of Coke-bottle glasses. With advances in contact-lens technology, fewer have to. Half of the 13- to 17-year-olds who need vision correction wear contacts, up from one quarter 10 years ago. And the trend isn't limited to older teens. Thirteen percent of vision-corrected kids under 13 now wear contacts, says Peter J. Valenti, vice president of marketing for Johnson & Johnson Vision Care, maker of Acuvue.How do you decide if they're...
  • Breast Cancer: A Ribbon's Far Reach

    The pink parade starts again in October, the 20th annual Breast Cancer Awareness Month. In Times Square, 3M is building the World's Largest Pink Ribbon using Post-it notes with a ribbon imprint. There's ChapStick in pink packages, Avon's breast-cancer celebrity-nailwear campaign, KitchenAid's "Cook for the Cure" effort, not to mention pink and white M&M's, pink-ribbon silk scarves, socks, stuffed bears--and so on. While these companies do donate portions of the proceeds to research, some activists aren't thrilled with the pink-ribbon proliferation. This week the not-for-profit group Breast Cancer Action, which urges women to ask about where the money spent on pink products goes, launches its annual "Think Before You Pink" campaign. Author Barbara Ehrenreich, treated for breast cancer three years ago, says her involvement with BCA stems from her dislike of "this creepy culture" around breast cancer. "It's given this feel-good aura," she says. "There's an effort to make it seem...
  • CRISCO: A WHOLE NEW CAN

    Is nothing sacred? Crisco, the shortening used to bake flaky pie crusts and fry crispy chicken, is now available in a trans-fat-free version. The rollout has hit about 40 percent of the country and comes as pressure mounts on food companies to remove the cholesterol-raising fats before they have to be listed on labels in 2006. The new Crisco tub is green and white, since market research shows that the public sees green as a healthy color. Instead of using partially hydrogenated soybean and cottonseed oils (the ingredients in the regular version, which--deep breaths--is still on sale), Smucker, which makes the shortening, combined sunflower oil, soybean oil and fully hydrogenated cottonseed oil. And it eliminated all but trace amounts of trans fats without increasing the saturated fats. Crisco diehards--who love its lack of flavor--will try the new version, even though a one-pound tub will cost $2.29, 40 cents more. Bud (The Pie Man) Royers, founder of Royers Round Top Cafe in Texas,...
  • THE SERENITY WORKOUT

    It's now clear that emotions can affect our physical health, but what about the reverse? Can physical activity affect the health of our minds? Hippocrates thought so. He advised melancholy Greeks to get out and walk, and modern science suggests he was on to something. In fact, getting off the couch may help some people as much as Prozac or psychotherapy. "Exercise can improve anyone's mood and mental performance," says Carl Cotman, director of the Institute for Brain Aging and Dementia at the University of California, Irvine. "It's free, it's fun and it doesn't take a whole lot of time."Whether they survey children or adults, researchers find that active people are happier than sofa jockeys, and less prone to depression and suicide. That doesn't prove that exercise makes people happy (it could be that happiness makes people exercise), but studies are now confirming the therapeutic effects. When Duke University psychologist James Blumenthal placed depressed patients on a supervised...
  • Fashion Week: Coming To A City Near You

    Don't expect to see Gwyneth Paltrow or Anna Wintour in the front row. But next week, after the New York fashionistas have gone back to their desks and their skinny lattes, Chicago--a city in which the only "must have" accessory is a good, warm muffler--will launch its first fashion week. Produced by the Midwestern retail giant Marshall Field's, the Chicago event follows on the stilettos of new fashion weeks in other locales not instantly identified with haute couture. In the past decade fashion weeks have cropped up in Kenya, India, Brazil, Iceland, New Zealand and Australia, as well as in Hong Kong, Tokyo, Toronto, Miami, San Francisco (left) and Los Angeles. The Chicago shows aim to lure shoppers by featuring clothes available right now. "The Midwest has that practical sensibility," explains JoAnn Young, Marshall Field's executive fashion producer, who is launching simultaneous fashion weeks in Detroit and Minneapolis. Will this proliferation undermine the cachet of the New York,...
  • The Serenity Workout

    It's now clear that emotions can affect our physical health, but what about the reverse? Can physical activity affect the health of our minds? Hippocrates thought so. He advised melancholy Greeks to get out and walk, and modern science suggests he was on to something. In fact, getting off the couch may help some people as much as Prozac or psychotherapy. "Exercise can improve anyone's mood and mental performance," says Carl Cotman, director of the Institute for Brain Aging and Dementia at the University of California, Irvine. "It's free, it's fun and it doesn't take a whole lot of time."Whether they survey children or adults, researchers find that active people are happier than sofa jockeys, and less prone to depression and suicide. That doesn't prove that exercise makes people happy (it could be that happiness makes people exercise), but studies are now confirming the therapeutic effects. When Duke University psychologist James Blumenthal placed depressed patients on a supervised...
  • PACK LOVE AND FOOD

    Remember trying to trade the apple in your lunchbox for a Twinkie? Here's how to pack healthy fare so fun and tasty that your kids will want to eat it:Make fruits and veggies enticing. Get your kids to grow their own, even if it's just in a windowsill planter. Or take them to the produce aisle to choose their favorites. Dice up kiwi, peaches and strawberries to make a colorful fruit salad. Include baby carrots, perhaps with low-fat dip. (Consider using an ice pack.)Opt for fresher, less-processed foods. Last month a USDA committee on the food pyramid recommended avoiding trans fats. They're found in many store-bought cookies and crackers and even peanut butter. Try making PB&J with natural peanut butter. (Smucker's makes a yummy variety.)Switch to whole-wheat bread. Try out calcium-rich string cheese in a whole-wheat tortilla wrap or a stuffed whole-wheat pita, advises the American Dietetic Association (see eatright.org). But don't be a puritan. It's OK to throw in a chocolate...
  • FAMILY: SKIP THE SUBURBS

    Growing up in a big city, Junior may not learn to ride a two-wheeler in the middle of the street. But there's plenty he can do. In "The City Parent Handbook: The Complete Guide to the Ups and Downs and Ins and Outs of Raising Young Kids in the City," authors Kathy Bishop and Julia Whitehead (both New Yorkers) give tips on raising happy, healthy urban children.Prepare a medical-emergency list of favorite hospitals and specialists, which you should keep by the phone, leave with babysitters and give to schools. Not all emergency rooms are equal in big cities.Buy family memberships to museums so you can visit often, and keep each outing short.Make friends in different parts of the city. "If your child takes swimming classes at the Y, stop at the diner there and get to know them," says Bishop.Choose a pet wisely. A fancy rat is an excellent small, kid-friendly choice, says Bishop.
  • ANXIETY: SWEET, ELUSIVE SLEEP

    Earlier this summer, Mike Trevino, 29, slept nine hours in nine days in his quest to win a 3,000-mile, cross-country bike race. For the first 38 hours and 646 miles, he skipped sleep entirely. Later he napped--with no dreams he can remember--for no more than 90 minutes a night. Soon he began to imagine that his support crew was part of a bomb plot. "It was almost like riding in a movie. I thought it was a complex dream, even though I was conscious," says Trevino, who finished second.Trevino's case may be extreme, but it raises important questions: If we don't sleep (or sleep enough), what happens to our dreams? And if we don't dream, what happens to us? These are not purely academic or existential questions. Nearly 40 percent of Americans report getting fewer than seven hours sleep on weekdays and nearly 60 percent say they experience some kind of insomnia at least several nights a week, according to a National Sleep Foundation poll. "Sleep may be essential for life," says Jerry...
  • JUST VISITING

    Rudy Yogiaman considers himself lucky to be a sophomore at USC. As a citizen of predominantly Muslim Indonesia, he got a visa at a time when many of his friends were being turned down. Others decided not to apply, figuring their chances were too slim, and opted for Australia instead. "I would rather choose America," he says. "It's still worth the hassle. Australia doesn't have any famous schools."Yes, foreign students have to be more determined than ever. They need to allow more time for the vetting of their visa requests, and rejections are more common than before. But no, the number of foreign students enrolled in American universities hasn't gone down yet, although some schools are reporting a drop in applicants. While there's been a decline in students from the Middle East, Asian students now make up 51 percent of foreign enrollment, with Indians leading the pack, followed by those from China and South Korea. "It's a better education," says NYU senior Carmen Ho, who is from Hong...
  • TRAVEL: WINDY CITY, SERIOUS ART

    Stroll along Lake Michigan, splurge on the Magnificent Mile and indulge in deep-dish pizza--and don't miss Chicago's newest cultural destinations.Millennium Park. Frank Gehry's new 4,000-seat music pavilion crowns this 24i-acre park and garden along Lake Michigan. The lawn seats 8,000 concertgoers who can listen to classical music free of charge. See millenniumpark.org.'Seurat and the Making of "La Grande Jatte".' The Art Institute of Chicago traces Georges-Pierre Seurat's creation of the famous oil painting that features men in top hats and ladies with parasols on a grassy bank. Tickets: $12-$15. Open through Sept. 19. See artic.edu/aic.The Farnsworth House. The public can once again marvel at Ludwig Mies van der Rohe's 1951 glass house. The secluded structure is completely transparent, save for its white steel frame and an internal "utility core" that houses bathrooms. Tickets: $20. Advance registration required. See farnsworthhouse.org.
  • TIP SHEET

    HEALTHNew Rules For A Safe PregnancyThe nine months between conception and delivery are filled with anticipation, and with confusing advice: cut out alcohol, don't dye your hair, avoid Brie. Here's the latest thinking on everything from soft cheese to hot tubs.Planning ahead. Most birth defects occur three to six weeks after conception. To be safe, begin taking a daily vitamin that contains at least 400 micrograms of folic acid and not more than 5,000 units of vitamin A two months before stopping birth control. Avoid herbal formulations. (See motherisk .org.) And make sure you're immune to German measles and chickenpox, which can cause birth defects.Weight gain. Don't eat for two. In a 2002 report, the Institute of Medicine recommended that women not increase their food intake in the first trimester. Overweight women should gain no more than 15 to 25 pounds; average women, 25 to 35 pounds; thin women, 28 to 40 pounds.Food. Spend calories wisely. High levels of mercury in shark,...
  • HEALTH: NEW RULES FOR A SAFE PREGNANCY

    The nine months between conception and delivery are filled with anticipation--and with confusing advice: cut out alcohol, don't dye your hair, avoid Brie. Here's the latest thinking on everything from soft cheese to hot tubs.Planning ahead. Most birth defects occur three to six weeks after conception. To be safe, begin taking a daily prenatal vitamin that contains at least 400 micrograms of folic acid and not more than 5,000 units of vitamin A two months before going off birth control. Avoid herbal formulations. (See motherisk.org.) And make sure you're immune to German measles and chickenpox, which can cause birth defects.Weight gain. Don't eat for two. In a 2002 report, the Institute of Medicine recommended that women not increase their food intake in the first trimester. Overweight women should gain no more than 15 to 25 pounds; average women, 25 to 35 pounds; thin women, 28 to 40 pounds.Food. Spend calories wisely. High levels of mercury in shark, swordfish, king mackerel and...
  • PERISCOPE

    SAUDI ARABIA: Holier Than Thou ...
  • FAMILY: MAKE A BIG SPLASH

    Breaking a bone is almost a childhood ritual. So is getting signatures on your cast--and keeping it dry. Because bacteria thrive on moisture, wetness can lead to a serious infection. But it's summer, when kids want to swim. Here's how to stay dry and not miss out on the fun:Gore-Tex liners. Sometimes used in fiber-glass casts, the material helps water evaporate. Insurance companies don't always want to pay extra for it. See goremedical.com.Buy a latex cover. Pull a bright blue XeroSox Pro Pump ($29 to $39; xerosox.com) over a cast--and then squeeze the special pump to vacuum- seal it.Go basic. Grab a sturdy bag and fasten it with duct tape or rubber bands. But doctors still discourage kids from getting soaked. "No child's life is going to be ruined by a short time not being in the water," says Dr. Stuart Weinstein, a pediatric orthopedic surgeon at the University of Iowa. Try telling that to an 8-year-old.