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  • penkanya/iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission announced Thursday that Bed Bath & Beyond has voluntarily recalled about 175,000 UGG comforters due to the risk of mold exposure.The recalled Hudson comforters by UGG were sold at the retailer between August 2017 and October 2017, both in-store and online. The recall notice says that mold could be present, “posing a risk of respiratory or other infections in individuals with compromised immune systems, damaged lungs or an allergy to mold.The Hudson comforters by UGG were priced between $70 and $110, and available in twin, full/queen and king bed sizes, according to the notice posted by CPSC. The polyester comforters were sold in garnet, navy, gray and oatmeal.The recall includes about 175,000 comforters in the U.S. and about an additional 20 in Canada.Consumers are advised to immediately stop using these comforters and return them to Bed Bath & Beyond for a full refund.No injuries have been reported.ABC News has reached out to UGG for comment.
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  • Wavebreakmedia Ltd/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- While fewer Americans are smoking cigarettes, according to the newest data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, nearly 38 million smoked "every day" or "some days" in 2016.The data was released by the CDC on Thursday and comes from the National Health Interview Survey. According to the CDC, those figures indicate that among adults who have ever used cigarettes, the percentage that quit has increased from 50.8 percent in 2005 to 59 percent in 2016."The good news is that these data are consistent wit declines in adult cigarette smoking that we've seen for several decades," Corinne Graffunder, director of the CDC's Office on Smoking and Health said. "These findings also show that more people are quitting, and those who continue to smoke are smoking less."Among daily smokers, the CDC says that the average number of cigarettes smoked per day has dropped in the last 11 years -- from 17 cigarettes to 14. In that same timespan, the proportion of smokers who smoked 20 to 29 cigarettes each day decreased, while those who smoked fewer than ten cigarettes per day increased.The CDC also found notable disparities across population groups. Smoking remains more common among males, those between the ages of 25 and 64, people with less education, American Indians and Alaskan Natives, those who suffer from psychological distress, Americans who identify as lesbian, gay or bisexual, and those who live in the Midwest or South."The bad news is that cigarette smoking is not declining at the same rate among all population groups," said Brian King, deputy director for research translation in CDC's Office on Smoking and Health. "Addressing these disparities...is critical to continue the progress we've made in reducing the overall smoking rate."Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.
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  • Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- For Kiela Daley, a mother of a 7-year-old girl on a competitive gymnastics team in Rhode Island, watching the sentencing of former USA Olympic team doctor Larry Nassar for sexual misconduct has been emotionally charged and difficult to watch."It’s incredibly frightening," Daley said about Nassar, who has been accused of sexual misconduct by more than 125 women and girls in civil lawsuits. “It was such a wake-up call because you do put so much trust in these people.”Women have appeared in court this week sharing powerful impact statements, and Olympic stars including two-time team captain Aly Raisman, McKayla Maroney, Simone Biles and Gabby Douglas have publicly coming forward to report abuse by Nassar.After Biles said she too was a victim of Nassar's earlier this week, USA Gymnastics released a statement. “We are our athletes’ advocates,” the statement said. “USA Gymnastics will continue to listen to our athletes and our members in our efforts of creating a culture of empowerment with a relentless focus on athlete safety every single day."Because of Nassar’s case, Daley knows it means she’ll no longer be able to shield her daughter and must start to have an important conversation about sexual assault.“I want it to be a dialogue that we have,” said Daley. “You have to have really hard conversations that you don’t expect to have with a 5- or 6-year-old.”Cherie Benjoseph, the co-founder and executive advisor of KidSafe, an organization Raisman partnered with to help families prevent childhood sexual abuse, said the first step to keeping kids safe is starting the conversation.“The philosophy that we have at KidSafe is that just like you teach a child any other type of safety, like swim safety or kitchen safety,” Benjoseph said. “We need to start young to teach them personal safety.”Preventative education is criticalParents should teach kids how to identify things that make them uncomfortable by asking questions that help them to listen to their bodies.Questions like “How do you know when somebody asks you to do something that feels uncomfortable?” or “Who would you tell if something happened that makes you uncomfortable?” can be a great way for kids to practice, said Jenny Coleman, the director of Stop It Now!, another organization dedicated to preventative education.Benjoseph suggested parents work with children to build a “circle of safe adults” who their child feels they can talk to. Children should know they can tell multiple adults in the circle anything until someone listens.Children should also know that presents from adults and uncomfortable touches should never be kept a secret. Benjoseph said kids should be able to say, “I don’t have to keep this a secret. Even if someone tells me to keep it a secret, I don’t have to keep it. That’s just the type of secret I was told not to keep.”Talking to tweens and teensAs kids age, it’s important to continue conversations that keep communication open, experts say.Tweens and teens also need a circle of safe adults and access to information about their bodies and about sex and sexuality.“We want to answer questions as they come up,” Coleman said. “Saying, ‘We just want you to know we’re here for you to ask questions’ opens up the space for healthy conversation.”Spotting warning signs and responding to possible abuseAs a parent, educating yourself is just as important as educating your child, Benjoseph said. While each case is unique, there are warning signs of abuse to look for.Young children may have trouble sleeping, become suddenly afraid of certain people or places, lose interest in school or change their personal hygiene habits, Benjoseph said.Older kids and young adults may show similar signs, but other responses, l
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  • Fouque Michaël/iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- A deadly flu epidemic sweeping the nation has triggered one Texas school district to cancel classes for the week and one California hospital has set up a triage tent outside an emergency room to handle flu patients.The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has identified a particular strain of influenza A, H3N2, as the culprit affecting thousands from coast to coast."I think this is the first time we've had 49 of 50 states reporting widespread activity at the same time, at least in the last 13 years," Lynnette Brammer, an epidemiologist with with the CDC's influenza division, told ABC News on Wednesday. Hawaii is the only state where the flu is not widespread.Brammer said this flu season is on par with the 2014-2015 season, when more than 700,000 people were hospitalized with the flu and nearly 130 died.California has been the hardest hit state with at least 42 people under the age of 65 dying from flu-related symptoms, according the the state's Public Health Department. At least 3,269 people in the state have tested positive for the flu, the agency reported.Even otherwise healthy people, across age groups, have succumbed to this year's flu.Katie Oxley Thomas, a 40-year-old mother of three and a marathon runner from San Jose, California, died 15 hours after being admitted to an emergency room with influenza, her family told ABC station KGO in the San Francisco Bay Area."I know that she could hear us and we're saying, 'Katie you can fight this, you can beat it,'" said Thomas' stepmother, Adrienne Oxley.She said the family had a hard time accepting that she died from the illness."We just didn't believe it," Oxley said. "We were in total shock. It's still hard to believe."Nico Mallozzi, 10, of New Canaan, Connecticut, died Sunday after his family took him to a hospital to be treated for flu symptoms while he was at a hockey tournament in Buffalo, New York."Nico was a very lively, vibrant, spirited kid," Bryan Luizzi, superintendent of the New Canaan Public School District, told ABC News.At Loma Linda Medical Center in San Bernardino Count, California, the medical staff has erected a triage tent outside the emergency room to handle the influx of flu patients."This seems to be the worst flu season we've had here in the last 10 to 15 years," Dr. Adrian Cotton, chief of medical operations at the Southern California hospital, told ABC's Good Morning America. "We're seeing a lot more patients for the flu and the patients we're seeing are a lot sicker than usual."In Texas, the influenza outbreak is so severe that the Bonham Independent School District, which has about 2,000 students, canceled classes through Tuesday."As the number of confirmed cases of influenza grows, it is important to increase health and safety protocols for each campus, including disinfection of all buses and spaces," the school district wrote in a letter to parents. "Local health officials have recommended a full seven days to stop the cycle of spreading influenza."The flu epidemic is also taking a toll on the nation's blood supply.Jodi Sheedy, a spokeswoman for the American Red Cross blood services, told ABC News that nearly 500 blood drives have been canceled in the past week, due to bad weather and the flu outbreak. The Red Cross supplies about 40 percent of the blood used in hospitals across the nation."If you're not feeling well, you should not be giving blood," Sheedy said."Right now we're doing everything we can to make sure hospitals have enough blood on their shelves," she added. "We haven't had any indication that surgeries have been postponed."She encourage healthy people, especially those who have gotten flu shots, to donate blood, and particularly platelets."We're asking people to go out and donate blood as soon as possible," Sheedy said. "All blood types are needed."Brammer said it's not too late for people to get flu shots and the CDC continues to recommend them."The best way to prevent the
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  • gpointstudio/iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Iced, hot, sweetened or with milk, it seems like there's plenty of options for tea drinkers already. But one trendy addition to the menu is stirring things up.Cheese tea is the latest beverage trend overflowing on social media news feeds. The drink, which originated in Taiwan and spread throughout Asia, has become the latest popular beverage at bubble tea shops.While cheese and tea may not sound like an obvious pairing, people on social media are hailing the concoction and drinking it up, sharing their experiences with #CheeseTea.Jenny Zheng, owner of Little Fluffy Head Cafe in Los Angeles, told ABC News she first heard of the drink and tasted it while living in China in 2016. She decided to bring the concept back with her to California."At first it was surprising. But when I tried it, it was refreshingly good and well-balanced with the tea flavor," Zheng said. "I wanted to have my own tea shop in the states and not many people here knew about cheese tea, so it was a very new concept."Zheng said many shops throughout the U.S. have created their own versions of the drink with a smooth and creamy whipped cheese topping."The concept of cheese tea started in Taiwan and then they played around with making it a creamy texture using a cheese powder," she explained. "When I got the recipe it was pretty popular to make it with real cream cheese to make the creamy flavor."The drink starts with any variety of tea from matcha to herbal and is topped with a whipped cheese foam, which has a similar flavor profile to a cannoli filling."We put milk, whipping cream, pink salt and sugar, which makes it more subtle and can be paired with any kind of tea," Zheng said.Zheng said it is "an aquired taste, but the more you try it the more you get used to the taste. People do like it a lot."One Instagram user's "pro tip" for people who want to try the drink for the first time: "Don't drink it with a straw."Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.
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