Health Buzz: 2 Million Strollers Recalled Following Strangulation

7 strange cancer claims explained; how to have a happier, healthier, smarter baby.

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Graco Recalls 2 Million Strollers After 4 Infants Die

Two million Graco strollers have been recalled after reports of infant strangulation, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission said Wednesday. The recall applies to Graco's Quattro and MetroLite strollers, which caused four infant deaths between 2003 and 2005. Entrapment and strangulation can occur when children—particularly those under one year—are left in the stroller unstrapped, allowing their bodies to slip down on the seat until their heads become wedged between the stroller tray and seat bottom, the CPSC said in a statement. In addition to the four deaths, at least six babies suffered cuts and bruises after becoming trapped; one infant had trouble breathing. The recalled strollers were all made before July 2007. Consumers are warned to stop using the strollers and contact Graco for a free repair kit.

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  • What Causes Cancer? 7 Strange Cancer Claims Explained

    Bras, deodorant, and mouthwash­—just a few of the everyday products that have been linked to cancer at some point during the past several decades. Preposterous? Not at the time, and new suspects have been added to the list, writes U.S. News's Megan Johnson. Here's the real story behind a roll call of ordinary household items that have come under scrutiny:

    Artificial Sweeteners. The link: Calorie watchers scored a win when diet sodas were introduced in the early 1950s. Then lab studies suggested that the sweetener cyclamate caused bladder cancer in rats, and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration banned its use. Then saccharin, the replacement of choice, was also shown to cause tumors in rats. Although saccharin was never banned, all products containing the sweetener were required to carry a cancer warning on their packaging.

    The reality: No evidence has since emerged that either cyclamate, which is used in other countries, or saccharin causes cancer in humans, according to the National Cancer Institute. Although cyclamate is still banned, saccharin was taken off the government's list of possible carcinogens in 2000, the same year in which saccharin products shed the warning label. The sweetener aspartame has come under suspicion, but scientists have found no increased risk of cancer in humans. [Read more: What Causes Cancer? 7 Strange Cancer Claims Explained.]

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    • How to Have a Happier, Healthier, Smarter Baby

      Pregnant women have tweaked their diets, tried prenatal education tricks, and attempted whatever else baby books and doctors have recommended—all in the quest to have happier, healthier, and perhaps even smarter babies. Mothers-to-be have latched onto fish oil, to cite one example, because of studies crediting omega-3 fatty acids with brighter babies and a lower risk of postpartum depression.

      New research suggests none of the above. A study published Tuesday in the Journal of the American Medical Association of more than 2,000 pregnant women who took either fish oil or vegetable oil capsules found no benefit to cognitive or language skills of babies born to fish oil-taking mothers. (Nor did fish oil seem to alleviate their postpartum depression.)

      So what can women do to enhance their babies' prenatal experiences and give them a leg-up when they enter the world? In her new book Origins: How the Nine Months Before Birth Shape the Rest of Our Lives, journalist Annie Murphy Paul explores the burgeoning field of fetal origins, which examines how the conditions we encounter before birth influence us down the line. U.S. News spoke with Paul, who shared her insight on which prenatal behaviors withstand scientific scrutiny—and which are shaky at best. [Read more: How to Have a Happier, Healthier, Smarter Baby.

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