vital signs

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Indy Lifestyle Online
Locked knees

Never search for lost keys on your hands and knees: you may end up like the unfortunate London cabbie who knelt on his ignition key. The key penetrated his jeans, entered the joint of his knee and snapped off, causing the knee to lock at an 80-degree angle. According to a report in the British Medical Journal, the key had to be removed under general anaesthetic.

Mum's milk and asthma

Breast-feeding can protect offspring against allergic diseases such as asthma well into the teenage years, say researchers at the University of Helsinki, Finland. A study, published in the Lancet, which followed 150 children from birth to the age of 17, found that those breast-fed for six months or more suffered less from allergies than those who had little or no breast-feeding.

Leg over

Crossing your legs may save on energy as well as avoiding short-skirt voyeurs. According to a study in Spine, leg-crossing reduces fatigue by decreasing "oblique abdominal muscle activity".

Pillow talk

Giving asthmatic children foam instead of feather pillows to sleep on can do more harm than good, according to a study published in the British Medical Journal. It found that synthetic pillows were associated with a threefold increase in severe wheezing, probably because of an unidentified allergen.

The researchers from St George's Hospital, London also found that families are reluctant to get rid of furry pets, however severe their child's wheezing. About two-thirds of those in the study had a pet at home, doubling their risk of troublesome symptoms.

CHERRILL HICKS

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