• iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- When it's time for your baby to attend school, you can bet there's going to be a little Sophia or Jackson in the classroom.There may even be a few Aidens, Emmas, Lucases and Olivias.That's because these names top the list of most popular baby names of 2016, according to the popular website Baby Center. The list was culled from the 400,000 submissions received from new parents.Here are the top 10 names by gender:GIRLS
    Read more...
  • iStock/ThinkstockBy DR. JENNIFER ASHTON, ABC News Senior Medical ContributorAre you more of a morning person or do you tend to be more productive at night? According to a new study, whether or not you’re an early bird or a night owl is actually in your DNA. Researchers found 15 different spots in the genetic script that was likely between morning people and self-described evening people. Seven of these genetic swaps occur near genes involving regulating a person’s daily cycles or circadian rhythm. Here's my take:
    Read more...
  • iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — Some headphones marketed for children may not restrict enough noise for young ears, according to a new report published Tuesday by the technology guide The Wirecutter.The Wirecutter tried out 30 different children’s headphones for style, fit and safety by using both a plastic model ear and a few real children.“There's no governing board that oversees this,” Lauren Dragon, the Headphone Editor at The Wirecutter, told Good Morning America in an interview that aired Tuesday. Dragon added that the headphones for children all claim to limit volume to around 85 decibels. Sound below the 85 decibel mark for a maximum of eight hours is considered safe, according to the World Health Organization.The Wirecutter report found that some of these headphones emit sound higher than the 85 decibel mark. To read the full report click here.The report gave the highest rating for kids' headphones to the Puro BT2200, Bluetooth wireless headphones that retail for around $100 on Amazon.com. The Wirecutter notes the Puro headphones met their "volume-limiting test standards" and were liked by kid testers of all ages.The lowest rating among the products reviewed by The Wirecutter went to a pair of wired headphones by Kidz Gear.Dragon claimed that the volume limiter on the Kidz Gear headphones could be easily removed by children. The Wirecutter report claims that the audio level is safe with the limiter, but without it, the audio can reach as loud as 110 decibels.The Wirecutter report notes it is up to adults to monitor children's overall noise exposure. "A limiting circuit alone doesn’t make for safe listening," the report states.Kidz Gear told ABC News in a statement that in over 15 years they have “never had a customer complaint on using a limiter when needed.”"Parents and children alike love the fact that the headphones can be happily used in any sound environment," the statement read. "We believe when a volume limiter is used, safe sound is achieved and any issues with volume is a user or configuration issue."The Wirecutter report comes at a time that one in five teens now suffer from some sort of hearing loss, according to the Journal of American Medical Association. Some doctors say that headphones are to blame for this.“I’ve seen kids as young as seven who’ve had noise-induced hearing loss,” Dr. Scott Rickert, an otolaryngologist at NYU Langone Medical Center, told ABC News. “They’re listening to their headphones at full blast.”"We’re really talking about listening to a rock concert on a daily basis,” Rickert added.Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.
    Read more...
  • ABC News(NEW YORK) — Naomi Judd is part of country music royalty who, with her daughter Wynonna Judd, skyrocketed to the top of country music fame as The Judds.Naomi Judd, 70, is now revealing that out of the spotlight she battled a “completely debilitating and life-threatening” depression that led to several stints in psychiatric wards.“They think, because they see me in rhinestones, you know, with glitter in my hair, that really is who I am,” Naomi Judd told ABC News’ Robin Roberts, speaking of her fans. “I'm sort of a fantasy 'cause I want to provide that for them."But then I would come home and not leave the house for three weeks and not get outta my pajamas, not practice normal hygiene,” she added. “It was really bad.”Naomi Judd, who is also mother to actress Ashley Judd, details her battle with depression in her new book, River of Time: My Descent into Depression and How I Emerged with Hope. The book represents a comeback for Judd, not with music but with a powerful message.“Because what I've been through is extreme,” Naomi Judd said when asked why she is going public with her depression. “Because it was so deep and so completely debilitating and life-threatening and because I have processed and worked so hard for these last four years.”Naomi Judd said she thought in her dark moments, “If I live through this, I want someone to be able to see that they can survive.”Naomi Judd retired from her country music career as The Judds in 1991 after revealing she was diagnosed with hepatitis C. She declared herself “cured” of the disease in 1998 and resumed some performances with her daughter Wynonna Judd in the years after.'Radical Acceptance'The “Girls Night Out” singer said a part of her treatment for depression was to confront a difficult past that she said includes being molested by a member of her family at the age of 3 1/2 years old.“I think that's one of the reasons I wanted to write the book, because my whole life I've been a people-pleaser,” she said. “And one of the reasons I got in trouble was because I never acknowledged all the bad stuff that people did to me … all the horrific experiences that I've had.”Naomi Judd said her immediate family members had mental health issues of their own so she was left to rely on and trust only herself at a young age.“I had to realize that in a way I had to parent myself,” Naomi Judd said. “We all have this inner child, and I needed, for the first time in my life, to look at all these times where nobody was there for me and realize that I got a raw deal.“I just stayed in therapy and I did, like every day, and I call it radical acceptance,” she said. “Every day I exercised, which I hated at first. Hated.”'A Little Estranged' from Wynonna JuddNaomi Judd said she would walk to her daughter Ashley Judd’s house one mile away and, if she was home, her 48-year-old daughter would come out to give her a comforting hug.“Ashley and I are so stinkin' much alike and people will talk about that,” she said. “I mean we have the same mannerisms. We both read a whole lot. We both love new places. She does acro-yoga. I do Pilates. I mean there's such similarities.”Naomi Judd admits her relationship with Wynonna Judd, 52, is trickier.“From the day I knew she existed, it was the two of us against the world and then through the decades we kind of grew up together, 'cause it was really just the two of us,” Naomi Judd said. “And I'm always tellin' her, ‘If I'd known better, I would have done better.’“So Wy bore the brunt of all of the mistakes I made and we talk about 'em,” Judd said. “We've been through a lot of therapy together.”The mother-daughter act reunited last year for the “Girls Night Out” residency at the Venetian i
    Read more...
  • iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- With growing concerns about the long-term effects of concussions due to football, the medical community, especially pediatricians, are grappling with how to turn early scientific studies into real-world advice for parents, coaches and school boards.In a commentary for the medical journal Pediatrics, physicians from multiple institutions, including the University of North Carolina and Children's Mercy Hospital in Kansas City, debate the merits and drawbacks of advising a ban of high school football.The commentary focused on exploring the risks of high school football by having three experts give an answer to a hypothetical scenario where a small-town pediatrician has to decide whether to advise cancelling a football program.Concussions and their possible role in the development of CTE, or chronic traumatic encephalopathy, has put a spotlight on the dangers of tackle football. In recent years, posthumous examinations of multiple professional football players have revealed the athletes had been suffering from the condition. Currently, CTE can only be diagnosed posthumously. However, the life-time risks for an average football player, especially one in high school, remain unclear.CTE is a degenerative disease that involves a buildup of the abnormal protein called tao, which is also found in dementia patients and is associated with a breakdown of brain tissue. It's believed to be caused by repetitive trauma to the brain, especially concussions, according to the CTE Center at Boston University, and symptoms include memory loss, confusion, impulse control problems, aggression, depression, anxiety and progressive dementia.Dr. Andrew Gregory, an associate professor of Orthopedics and Pediatrics at Vanderbilt University Medical Center, said new research and attention on concussions has been important to raise awareness, but that he didn't want parents to be so afraid that they keep children away from sports in general."I do worry about the anxiety in general. ... We don't want the message to be that kids shouldn't participate in sports because of risk of injury," Gregory told ABC News Monday. The question is "what can we do to make kids safer?"In the commentary, Dr. Lewis Margolis, a pediatrician and epidemiologist at the University of North Carolina, argued that current evidence points to football as more dangerous to the brain than other sports and that there is not enough evidence that benefits, including character building and physical fitness, is enough to outweigh the risks."High school football players have, by far, the highest risk of concussion of any sport," Margolis wrote. "In football, the rate of concussion is 60 percent higher than in the second ranking sport, lacrosse."Margolis wrote that he was also troubled by the fact that a large percentage of players are African American, and that as a result they "face a disproportionate exposure to the risk of concussions and their consequences."He advised that pediatricians should advise "discontinuation of high school football programs" until there is proof that it will not lead to long-term consequences for players."At present, there does not seem to be a way to reduce the number of head injuries in high school football," Margolis wrote. "There is no question that football is deeply imbedded in this community, as in U.S. culture. Our society has, however, researched other harms, such as tobacco use, alcohol-related driving, and obesity-related unhealthy diets and exercise, and successfully changed social norms."As a counter argument, Dr. Greg Canty, medical director for the Center for Sports Medicine at the the Children's Mercy Hospital in Kansas City, said that the medical community should push to make the sport safe but found there was not enough factual evidence to point to completely banning high school football."If we eliminate football, what sport is next and what is our threshold?" Canty asked in the commentary. "Who is going to be responsib
    Read more...
  • iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Between Thanksgiving and Christmas, millions of Americans will take to the roads and skies to visit family and friends. This can mean exposure to plenty of viral and bacterial pathogens through the air and through physical contact.Here's a few tips for avoiding the flu, cold or other infection, while traveling this winter.Wipe Down Tray Tables and Wash Hands Before EatingBetween the seat belt sign and cramped quarters on an airplane, many passengers may feel they cannot get up to wash their hands before digging in to an in-flight meal. But washing hands is a simple and effective way to avoid infections, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).Rather than giving up on hand hygiene completely, airline passengers stuck in their seats can use antibacterial wipes to clean tray tables and use hand sanitizer before eating.Basic steps like these can make a big difference, according to Dr. Goutham Rao, Chairman of the Department of Family Medicine and Community Health at University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center."The most common sense thing people can do is wash their hands often," Rao told ABC News. "When you're traveling ... think how much contact you have with everyone fromm gate agents to certain passengers."The CDC recommends either hand washing with soap and water or using hand sanitizer with more than 60 percent alcohol to avoid picking up in-flight pathogens.Get a Flu ShotReceiving a flu shot at least two weeks in advance of travel gives the body enough time to develop antibodies to fight off the influenza virus, increasing potential protection from the virus, while in the air or around large groups of people.Rao said the vaccine is especially key for people with compromised immune systems, including children and the elderly, during flu season."Peak time is December to March and people do travel a lot and mingle a lot, so the risk of getting the flu is much much higher than if you stayed home," Rao said.The CDC recommends that everyone older than 6 months of age receive the influenza vaccine.Go for a Walk and Take Advantage of a Mini-SpaLong delays, highway traffic jams or layovers can increase the stress level of any traveler. As stress increases, so do certain hormones that can increase inflammation and possibly diminish the immune system. Since some studies have shown massage can help diminish cortisol levels, stopping by an airport spa for a 10-minute massage can not only reduce tension in your shoulders and also giving your immune system a boost as stress levels go down.To decrease stress and maintain health, Rao also recommends staying active. This doesn't have to mean prolonged exercise like a 10-mile run; simply going for a brisk walk can be effective."It's very stressful around the holidays for many people," said Rao. "It can have an impact on your immune system ... It's important to have outlet for stress and stay active as much as you can."Watch the Holiday CookiesOverindulging during the holiday season may be a time-honored tradition, but Rao said watching portion sizes during the holidays is key to staving off long-term weight gain.Some people "gain more weight over a two-week period than they do for the rest of the year," said Rao.The health impacts of weight gain and obesity may not appear as quickly or as acutely as a case of the flu, but the long-term consequences are numerous, including increased risk for heart disease and diabetes.
    Read more...