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Hounds, Fevers & Fish-oil...Not a Country Song

...but the latest agents that keep infant allergies at bay. Babies fare better against allergens, apparently, when they're burning up. Prevention.com sites that:

About one-quarter (207) of the children had suffered at least one documented fever of 101 degrees Fahrenheit or more; this group was less likely to suffer from allergies now (as measured by atopy, serotopy, and allergic sensitization). And children who had had two such fevers were less likely to suffer allergies than those who had only one.

And don't forget fish-oil, says nutritionist Leslie Beck:

The theory is that because omega-3 fatty acids have anti-inflammatory properties, they may affect the developing immune system in a way that makes it less prone to allergic reaction, according to study author Dr. Susan L. Prescott of the University of Western Australia in Perth.

According to the study authors, it's possible that the rise in allergic disease over the past few decades could be related, in part, to a decline in omega-3 fats in the Western diet. Fatty fish like salmon, tuna and sardines are a prime source of omega-3s; the fats are also found in certain vegetable sources, such as canola oil and flax seed.

sdlfkjasUniversity of Cincinnati researchers found that children were two times less likely to wheeze when they lived in homes with high levels of endotoxins (natural compounds produced by pathogens) and more than one dog. And if you're already setting up the dog pen next to your playpen, maybe consider adopting a (fertile) dachshund...word is they're dwindling.

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Live Smarter
How to Choose the Best Watermelon
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Buying a watermelon is an experience one can grow to resent. The 92 percent moisture content of Citrullus lanatus means you're basically buying a giant ball of water. On the plus side, they're delicious and packed with enough vitamin C and D to keep you from getting scurvy.

But how to select the best of the batch? Food blogger Emma Christensen over at kitchn recently offered some advice, and it involves a little weight-training. When you examine watermelons in the produce section of your local grocery, you want to look for the heaviest one for its size. The denser the fruit, the more juice it has. That's when it's at its most ripe.

Next, check the underside of the watermelon for the "splotch." That's the yellow patch the watermelon develops by resting on the ground. If it's a creamy yellow, it's also a good indicator of being ripe.

Finally, give the underside a little smack—not aggressive enough to draw attention from grocery workers, but enough so that you can determine whether the watermelon sounds hollow. If it does, that's good. If it sounds dull, like you're hitting a solid brick of material, it's overripe; put the watermelon down and slowly back away from it.

If you're not confident in your watermelon evaluation abilities, there's another option: Local farmers markets typically have only choice product available, so any watermelon you pick up is likely to be a winner. You can also ask the merchant to pick one out for you. Pay attention to what he's doing and then try to emulate it the next time you're forced to choose your own produce.

[h/t: kitchn]

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Health
The CDC Makes It Official: Public Pools Are Disgusting
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Every summer, warm weather sends people across the country looking for a cool refuge in public pools, hotel pools, spas, and other water-based destinations. Before you take the plunge, you may want to heed the advice of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Jumping into a publicly-populated pool could be like bathing in someone else’s diarrhea, as Men’s Health reports.

The health agency revealed its findings in their Mortality and Morbidity Report, which explains why pools are ground zero for bacteria. Between 2000 and 2014, the CDC traced 493 outbreaks and over 27,000 cases of illness that could be connected to exposure to a public pool. The primary culprit was Cryptosporidium, a parasite found in feces that causes intestinal distress. The determined little bugs can survive for up to seven days after encountering the CDC’s recommended levels of one to three parts per million (PPM) of free chlorine. Even if the pool is being cleaned and maintained properly, Cryptosporidium can idle long enough to infect someone else. The report also indicated that Legionella (which causes Legionnaire’s disease) and Pseudomonas (responsible for ear infections and folliculitis) were found in some of the pools.

The problem is likely the result of swimmers entering the pool while suffering from an upset stomach and leaving trace fecal matter behind. The CDC recommends that you not enter a public pool if you feel unwell, that you ask for a pool inspection report if you’re concerned about the hygiene of the facility, and that you absolutely not swallow any water. The agency also recommends that any pool owner who has experienced a “diarrheal incident” in their water opt for hyperchlorination to kill bacteria.

[h/t Men’s Health]

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