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The NFL is Making This Year’s Pro Bowl Autism-Friendly

The NFL has made an unprecedented move to make this year’s Pro Bowl more inclusive to a group of spectators who may normally be stuck watching from home. As the Orlando Sentinel reports, the Sunday, January 28 game will include several "autism-friendly" features designed to accommodate young fans on the autism spectrum.

Families interested in taking part can pick up "Sensory Sacks" inside Orlando’s Camping World Stadium once they arrive. Each bag will contain noise-canceling headphones, squeezable stress relief toys, and optional identification tools. Wristbands listing children’s row and seat numbers are meant to keep them safe in case they get lost, and lanyards holding A-OK badges (the name of the autism group that helped organize the program) are meant to promote better understanding from strangers. The stadium is also offering a quiet "safe room" for kids who feel overstimulated and security and staff are being trained on how to treat the young fans on the autism spectrum.

 Sensory overload—which is brought on by hypersensitivity to sound, light, touch, and other outside information—is a common symptom many people with autism face. Other public spaces are striving to be more welcoming to visitors with autism. In 2016, an Asda grocery store in England launched an autism-friendly quiet hour, and later that year an entire toy store designed for kids with autismopened in Chicago. The upcoming football game will mark the first time the Pro Bowl has made such accommodations.

[h/t Orlando Sentinel]

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Beyond the Label: How to Pick the Right Medicines For Your Cold and Flu Symptoms
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The average household spends an annual total of $338 on various over-the-counter medicines, with consumers making around 26 pharmacy runs each year, according to 2015 data from the Consumer Healthcare Products Association. To save cash and minimize effort (here's why you'd rather be sleeping), the Cleveland Clinic recommends avoiding certain cold and flu products, and selecting products containing specific active ingredients.

Since medicine labels can be confusing (lots of people likely can’t remember—let alone spell—words like cetirizine, benzocaine, or dextromethorphan), the famous hospital created an interactive infographic to help patients select the right product for them. Click on your symptom, and you’ll see ingredients that have been clinically proven to relieve runny or stuffy noses, fevers, aches, and coughs. Since every medicine is different, you’ll also receive safety tips regarding dosage levels, side effects, and the average duration of effectiveness.

Next time you get sick, keep an eye out for these suggested elements while comparing products at the pharmacy. In the meantime, a few pro tips: To avoid annoying side effects, steer clear of multi-symptom products if you think just one ingredient will do it for you. And while you’re at it, avoid nasal sprays with phenylephrine and cough syrups with guaifenesin, as experts say they may not actually work. Cold and flu season is always annoying—but it shouldn’t be expensive to boot.

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Why You Might Not Want to Order Tea or Coffee On Your Next Flight
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A cup of tea or coffee at 40,000 feet may sound like a great way to give yourself an extra energy boost during a tiring trip, but it might be healthier to nap away your fatigue—or at least wait until hitting ground to indulge in a caffeine fix. Because, in addition to being tepid and watery, plane brew could be teeming with germs and other harmful life forms, according to Business Insider.

Multiple studies and investigations have taken a closer look at airplane tap water, and the results aren’t pretty—or appetizing. In 2002, The Wall Street Journal conducted a study that looked at water samples taken from 14 different flights from 10 different airlines. Reporters discovered “a long list of microscopic life you don’t want to drink, from Salmonella and Staphylococcus to tiny insect eggs," they wrote.

And they added, "Worse, contamination was the rule, not the exception: Almost all of the bacteria levels were tens, sometimes hundreds, of times above U.S. government limits."

A 2004 study by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) found that water supplies on 15 percent of 327 national and international commercial aircrafts were contaminated to varying degrees [PDF]. This all led up to the 2011 Aircraft Drinking Water Rule, an EPA initiative to make airlines clean up. But in 2013, an NBC investigation found that at least one out of every 10 commercial U.S. airplanes still had issues with water contamination.

Find out how airplane water gets so gross, and why turning water into coffee or tea isn’t enough to kill residual germs by watching Business Insider’s video below.

[h/t Business Insider]

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