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Life in Brief — week of Dec. 8

Research locales

depend on gender

More than half of America’s travelers rely on a smartphone to research their holiday travel plans.

But where they do that research depends on their gender, according to a survey of about 1,000 Americans by the travel website ­

Women are more likely than men to research holiday travel in bed, by a margin of 50 percent to 45 percent, according to the survey.

Men are more likely than women to research travel options in the bathroom, by a margin of 28 percent to 16 percent, the survey found.

— Hugo Martin

Los Angeles Times

Hints from Heloise:

Family photos become Christmas gift labels

Janice N. in Florida writes: As a mother of four sons and grandmother of four, I put photos of the grandkids on their Christmas presents. I make copies or print them out. The kids have a blast looking for their pictures. I use funny ones, or ones from when they were babies or much younger than they are now. It’s great for kids who can’t read.

A.S. in Texas writes: In case of an emergency, we need to be prepared. My mother made a notebook in which she keeps important information for my brother and me that we might need. Insurance and loan information, a copy of her will, car title, etc. — anything needed in the event that something happens to her. It’s not a subject people want to talk about, but it is important to be prepared. Searching for that information is not what you want to be doing at a time like that.

James H. in Texas writes: When you tear off a piece of tape, duct tape, masking tape, etc., always fold one of the corners over just a little bit. The next time you use it, it will be easy to find where the end is and pull off what you need. It’s a real timesaver.

— King Features

Breast-feeding 17 weeks
may reduce allergy risks

Breast-feeding exclusively for four to six months, and introducing solid foods while breast-feeding continues, may be a good way to reduce the risk for food allergies in children.

British researchers followed a group of 1,140 infants from birth to 2 years, while their mothers completed diaries detailing the babies’ diets and noting suspected allergic reactions to food, which researchers later confirmed by testing. They found 41 babies with confirmed food allergies, and compared them with 82 controls. All were born between January 2006 and October 2007.

After controlling for birth weight, the duration of pregnancy, maternal allergies and many other factors, they found that 17 weeks was the crucial age: babies introduced to solids before this age were significantly more likely to develop food allergies.

The study, published online in Pediatrics, found that continuing to breast-feed while introducing cow’s milk also had a protective effect against allergies. The authors suggest that the immunologic factors in breast milk are what provide the advantage.

— Nicholas Bakalar

New York Times


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