In the wake of 18 flu-related deaths, Boston declares a public health emergency; hospitals urge breastfeeding in pursuit of “baby-friendly” label; new study suggests that some active video games may help in the battle against childhood obesity.

FOX News – Boston declares public health emergency as flu cases rise nationwide
Boston declared a public health emergency Wednesday as flu season struck in earnest and the state reported 18 flu-related deaths so far.
The city is working with health care centers to offer free flu vaccines and hopes to set up places where people can get vaccinated. The city said there have been four flu-related deaths, all elderly residents, since the unofficial start of the flu season Oct. 1.

The Huffington Post -Biden pledges urgent Obama action on gun control
Vice President Joe Biden vowed urgent action against gun violence in America Wednesday, pledging steps by the Obama administration that he said could “take thousands of people out of harm’s way” and improve the safety of millions more.
But a day ahead of a meeting with the National Rifle Association, which has sunk past gun control efforts and is opposing any new ones, Biden signaled that the administration is mindful of political realities that could imperil sweeping gun control legislation, and is willing to settle for something less. He said the administration is considering its own executive action as well as measures by Congress, but he didn’t offer specifics.

Chicago Tribune – Hospitals push breast-feeding in hopes of getting ‘baby-friendly’ label
After the births of her first two children, Charmaine Sharkey’s neighborhood hospital gave her cans of baby formula and sent her on her way.
But Sharkey tried something different when her youngest, Dynasty, was born six months ago. The 28-year-old mother from Englewood breast-fed the 6-pound baby, a change she credits to guidance and programs offered by Stroger Hospital of Cook County.

Discovery News – Active video games can battle childhood obesity
In the fight against childhood obesity, video games are often seen as the enemy — sucking kids in to yet more sedentary screen time.
But some video games are designed to get kids moving, and a new study suggests that those games might help certain kids meet exercise goals that they’re not motivated to get in other ways.
The study’s authors suggest that vigorous video games may have the most potential to help inner-city minority kids, who tend to be at the highest risk for becoming overweight.

The Atlantic – The urgent need for confidential psychological care for U.S. military
I patiently waited through two seven-month deployments for my husband to come home from Afghanistan. Every time we talked on the phone, he said he was fine. He’d say, “If you pretend everything is okay, then after a while you begin to believe it and that’s how you make it home.”
That seemed to work in Afghanistan, but when he returned home the bottled up emotions poured right out. Almost every single day for seven months after returning home, Tyler would have outbursts. The smallest things, that never bothered him before, would set him off — he would be laughing with me one minute, punching walls the next. We patched up numerous holes in the wall, bought new furniture, and even bought a new car windshield due to his rage