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LIFELINE
NEWS IN BRIEF

For safety and peace of mind

"Safe Return" is an Alzheimer's Association nationwide identification, support and registration program working at the community level. The program provides assistance when a person with Alzheimer's disease or a related dementia wanders and becomes lost locally or far from home. Assistance is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, whenever a person is lost or found.

Alterra Clare Bridge of Williamsville at 6076 Main St. will have a registration day from 10:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Thursday for people to enroll their loved ones in the program. A one-time $40 enrollment fee includes an engraved identification bracelet or necklace, iron-on clothing labels, a caregiver checklist, key chain, lapel pin, refrigerator magnet, stickers and wallet cards. For information and to register, call Dee at 632-7123.

Chores burn calories

It's officially spring, which means it's time for two dreaded things: spring cleaning and bathing suit season.

To make things a little more pleasant on both counts, Stephanie Allmon of Knight Ridder Newspapers offers this guide to the calories you'll burn doing typical household chores.

Estimates are for a 140-pound person performing one hour of each activity.

Happy dusting, mowing and gardening!

Indoor chores:

Painting the bathroom: 320 calories

Refinishing furniture: 302 calories

Dusting: 149 calories

General house cleaning: 226 calories

Mopping floors: 286 calories

Rearranging furniture: 420 calories

Vacuuming: 158 calories

Washing windows: 286 calories

Outdoor chores:

Gardening: 302 calories

Painting a fence: 286 calories

Waxing a car or boat: 286 calories

Mowing a lawn with a push mower: 286 calories

Cleaning rain gutters: 336 calories

Other:

Shopping for cleaning and home improvement supplies: 146 calories

Collecting recyclables: 402 calories

Don't chew on this

Quick: Name five choking hazards you should keep away from your baby.

Chances are, you didn't think of whole grapes or hot dogs -- the two choking hazards most likely to be thought of as safe by parents in a recent study by researchers at Emory University.

BabyTalk magazine offers these other choking hazards, which the American Academy of Pediatrics puts off-limits to children under age 4: nuts and seeds; chunks of meat or hard cheese; hard or sticky candy; popcorn; raisins; chunks of peanut butter; raw vegetables; chewing gum; cherries; toys with small parts; small toys and balls; button-type batteries; balloons; and medicine syringes.

Herbal prescription

A good night's sleep is a dream for most people with rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Two-thirds report fatigue, and research suggests that drugs inhibit slow-wave sleep, which RA sufferers need. In studies, the sleep herb valerian -- Valeriana officinalis -- lengthened that phase, helping ease pain and tension. Consult your doctor before taking it. Side effects may include headache and stomach upset. Dose 1 teaspoon of valerian root tincture or two 500-milligam valerian root tablets 30 minutes before bedtime.

Lover-ly breast protection

Chocolate, the food that nurtures romance, may also shield your breasts from cancer, especially if you're overweight. That's because chocolate (the dark variety) is known to help raise "good" HDL cholesterol, shown in recent Norwegian research to protect against breast cancer after menopause.

In an 11-year study of 39,000 women, those who were overweight with the highest blood levels of HDL cholesterol had a one-third lower risk of postmenopausal breast cancer than those with the lowest HDL levels. There's some evidence that low HDL cholesterol may increase hormones known to promote cancer, the experts say.

Yogurt for health

Yoplait has introduced a line of yogurt with an ingredient proved to lower cholesterol. Newsday reports that Healthy Heart yogurt is the first in the United States with plant sterols, made by Cargill Inc. from natural plant compounds that inhibit the body from absorbing cholesterol.

Two servings a day of the yogurt contain enough sterols to lower cholesterol up to 6 percent over time. The yogurts are available in grocery stores for a suggested retail price of 79 cents for 6 ounces. For more information, visit www.yoplait.com.

Compiled from News and wire service reports.

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