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Article posted: 9/9/2013 6:27 AM

Your health: Allergy app for kids

Allergy app

Being the only kid in class with an allergy can feel incredibly lonely. A smartphone and tablet app offers help by introducing such kids to virtual friends who can relate, according to The Washington Post.

"Food allergies are never fun, but best friends always are!" exclaims the BugaBees app ($4.99, iOS and Android), based on the popular children's book series by Amy Recob. If those best friends happen to have allergies too, even better.

The app features such characters as Beetle, Cricket and Butterfly, who "always have fun and ... never feel blue, unless they eat foods they're allergic to," the app says.

Each character has an allergy to one of the eight most common allergenic foods -- peanuts, tree nuts, fish, shellfish, milk, soy, eggs or wheat.

Children can use the interactive story to learn how to recognize symptoms of an allergic reaction and how to manage their allergies.

Sidestep Alzheimer's

A recent international survey identified Alzheimer's as the second most feared disease, behind cancer, says Harvard Medical School. It's no wonder.

Alzheimer's disease is characterized by progressive damage to nerve cells and their connections. The result is devastating and includes memory loss, impaired thinking, difficulties with verbal communication, and even personality changes.

A number of factors influence the likelihood that you will develop Alzheimer's disease. Some of these you can't control, such as age, gender and family history. But there are things you can do to help lower your risk.

While there are no surefire ways to prevent Alzheimer's, by following the five steps below you may lower your risk for this disease.

Maintain a healthy weight. Cut back on calories and increase physical activity if you need to shed some pounds.

Check your waistline. To accurately measure your waistline, use a tape measure around the narrowest portion of your waist. A National Institutes of Health panel recommends waist measurements of no more than 35 inches for women and 40 inches for men.

Eat mindfully. Emphasize colorful, vitamin-packed vegetables and fruits; whole grains; protein sources such as fish, lean poultry, tofu, and beans and other legumes.

Exercise regularly. Regular physical activity helps control weight, blood pressure, blood sugar and cholesterol.

Keep an eye on important health numbers. In addition to watching your weight and waistline, ask your doctor whether your cholesterol, triglycerides, blood pressure and blood sugar are within healthy ranges.

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