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Photos: Royal baby born: Kate Middleton, Duchess of Cambridge, welcomes third child

The newest royal baby is here! Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, formerly known as Kate Middleton, has given birth to a baby boy, Kensington Palace tweeted Monday.

Mother says preschool banned daughter, other students from using term ‘best friend’

A Georgetown, Massachusetts, preschool is causing controversy by banning students from using the term “best friend.”

WFTXT reported that mother Christine Hartwell said she is outraged after a teacher at Pentucket Workshop Preschool told her 4-year-old daughter she couldn’t call one of her classmates her “best friend.”

The preschool defends its stance, saying banning the term promotes inclusion in the classroom, while Hartwell said it can end up having a negative affect on her daughter.

“How do you police a 4-year-old from expressing their feelings?” Hartwell told WFXT. “It’s outrageous. It’s silly (and) it hurts.”

>> Read more trending news 

Hartwell said she first learned of the ban after her daughter Julia came home from school one day acting differently. Julia told her mother she was upset because her teacher told her she couldn't call one of her classmates her best friend.

“When I asked her what was wrong, she said she was really sad about what her teacher did that day,” Hartwell said.

Hartwell said her daughter is now hesitant to call anyone her best friend, adding that she and her husband went to the director at Pentucket Workshop to find out more about the policy. Hartwell said it’s not spelled out in the school handbook.

The preschool sent a letter to the Hartwell family in response to the issue, saying they’ve done research on the pros and cons of using the term best friend, and that they’ll continue to discourage children from using it in group settings.

“It has been our experience (which spans decades) that the use of the term ‘best friend,’ even when used in a loving way, can lead other children to feel excluded (...) which can ultimately lead to the formation of ‘cliques’ and ‘outsiders,’” the letter said in part.

Hartwell said having a best friend allow a child to feel more secure at school, and she is removing Julia from the preschool to find a new one where her daughter can still call someone her best friend.

“I want her to be able to express her thoughts and feelings in a healthy way, as children should,” said Hartwell.

The school said it has no comment on the issue.

Newborn left in Safe Haven Baby Box at Indiana fire station

Authorities don’t know why a child was given up, but a mother of a newborn baby has taken a desperate step to make sure her little girl would be safe.

The unidentified mother left her child in a Safe Haven Baby Box at a Michigan City, Indiana, fire station. 

Volunteer firefighter Lt. Chuck Koehler said he received an alarm from the box at his fire station and got there less than a minute after the alert went out, The Associated Press reported. When he opened the container, he found the baby, made sure she was OK and waited for paramedics to arrive, according WBBM.

>> Read more trending news 

She still had the umbilical cord attached, WBBM reported, but was healthy, the AP reported.

The girl, who firefighters named “Grace,” will be given to Indiana Department of Child Services, the AP reported.

>> What is Ohio’s Safe Haven law?

There are two stations in Indiana with a Safe Haven Baby Box, which allows mothers to give up their newborns anonymously by dropping them off at hospitals, police stations or fire houses, within 30 days of being born, as part of the state’s Safe Haven law, WBBM reported.  

The box is climate controlled, and once the door is opened, a silent alarm is triggered and a 911 call is sent. When the door is shut, it locks until firefighters or paramedics arrive to open it, WBBM reported.

This is the second time the box has been utilized in about 5 months. Another baby girl was left in the box back in November. She was adopted just before Christmas. Firefighters named that little girl, “Hope,” WBBM reported.

Cox Media Group contributed to this story.

YouTube accused of illegally collecting children's data

A new complaint filed with the Federal Trade Commission accuses video-sharing site YouTube of illegally collecting children's data.

>> Here's how to download a copy of the data Facebook keeps on you

According to the Guardian, nearly two dozen advocacy groups, including the Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood and the Center for Digital Democracy, are arguing that YouTube's parent company, Google, violates the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act by collecting data on and targeting advertising toward children without obtaining parental consent beforehand.

>> Facebook alerts users if their data was compromised by Cambridge Analytica

The complaint, filed Monday, also alleges that Google knows that children use YouTube, even though YouTube asks that children under 13 not use the site.

"Despite the presence of literally millions of child-directed videos, and despite promising advertisers access to kids via YouTube ads, Google pretends that they aren’t responsible for the children on YouTube," the CCFC said on its website. "Google knows kids are there, and they are not taking steps to protect their privacy. So we are."

>> Cambridge Analytica: What you need to know about the firm, Facebook and your information

YouTube released the following statement in response to the complaint:

"We are reviewing the complaint and will evaluate if there are things we can do to improve. Protecting kids and families has always been a top priority for us. Because YouTube is not for children, we’ve invested significantly in the creation of the YouTube Kids app to offer an alternative specifically designed for children."

>> Read more trending news 

According to The Associated Press, YouTube Kids "offers more parental controls but is not as widely used" as the main YouTube site.

Read the full complaint here.

Death of loved one during pregnancy may affect child's mental health, study says

Grieving the death of a loved one can affect an entire family, including babies. In fact, losing a relative during pregnancy may affect the mental health of a child later in life, according to a new report.

>> On AJC.com: Smoking while pregnant study: 1 in 14 women still smoke while pregnant

Researchers from Stanford University recently conducted a study, published in the American Economic Review, to determine the effect a family member’s death may have on children.

To do so, they examined Swedish infants born between 1973 and 2011 whose mother lost a close relative, such as a sibling, parent, maternal grandparent, the child’s father or her own older child, during her pregnancy.

>> Breast cancer patients may help boost survival chances by building muscle, study says

They followed those children through adulthood, comparing their health outcomes to kids whose maternal relatives died in the year after their birth. They gathered the data from their medical records and Sweden’s novel prescription drug registry, which contains all prescription drug purchases.

Lastly, they considered the impact the death may have had on the fetus, including fetal exposure to maternal stress from bereavement and even changes to family resources or household composition.

>> On AJC.com: Is light drinking while pregnant really dangerous?

After analyzing their results, they found that “that prenatal exposure to the death of a maternal relative increases take-up of ADHD medications during childhood and anti-anxiety and depression medications in adulthood,” the researchers wrote in a statement.

Furthermore, they discovered the death of a relative up to three generations apart during pregnancy can also create consequences. 

“Our study offers complementary evidence linking early-life circumstance to adult mental health, but breaks new ground by focusing on stress,” the authors wrote, “which may be more pertinent than malnutrition in modern developed countries such as the United States and Sweden, and by tracing health outcomes throughout the time period between the fetal shock and adulthood.”

>> Read more trending news 

To combat the issue, the researchers recommend that governments implement policies to help reduce stress during pregnancy. They believe such policies should especially target poor families as they are more likely to experience stress than more advantaged ones. 

Although their findings are concerning, they hope they can better help expecting mothers have healthier pregnancies and birth healthier children. 

“Of course, you cannot prevent family members from dying, and we certainly do not want our findings to constitute yet another source of stress for expecting mothers,” the scientists said. “But our findings potentially point to the importance of generally reducing stress during pregnancy, for example through prenatal paid maternity leave and programs that provide resources and social support to poor, pregnant women.”

>> On AJC.com: Why pregnant women should be careful around cats

Ancestry.com DNA test shows woman's biological father is parents' fertility doctor, lawsuit says

A woman from Washington state claims that an Ancestry.com DNA test identified her parents' fertility doctor as her biological father.

>> RELATED STORY: Can police legally obtain your DNA from 23andMe, Ancestry?

USA Today reported that Kelli Rowlette, 36, of Benton County, initially believed that Ancestry had botched her DNA test last July when Gerald Mortimer, someone she had never met, was identified as her father, according to a lawsuit she filed last week in Idaho. 

>> Parents find long-lost daughter after 24-year search

According to the lawsuit, Rowlette's now-divorced parents, Sally Ashby and Howard Fowler, lived in Idaho when they started seeing Mortimer, then a doctor with the Obstetrics and Gynecology Associates of Idaho Falls, in 1979, USA Today reported. Mortimer suggested the couple, who faced fertility struggles while trying to conceive, try artificial insemination using an "85 percent mixture of [Fowler's] genetic material, and 15 percent of the mixture would be from anonymous donor," the lawsuit says, according to CBS News

According to the Washington Post, although "the couple requested a donor who was in college and taller than 6 feet with brown hair and blue eyes," the lawsuit alleges that Mortimer, who didn't fit that description, used his own "genetic material" instead without telling them.

>> Read more trending news 

After Rowlette got her test results, she said she complained to her mother, who later examined the results and recognized the name of her former fertility doctor. Ashby told Fowler the news, and the pair grappled with whether to tell Rowlette who Mortimer was, the lawsuit says. Three months later, Rowlette found Mortimer named as her delivery doctor on her birth certificate, the lawsuit says.

The lawsuit accuses Mortimer and his former practice of "medical negligence, fraud, battery, negligent infliction of emotional distress, and breach of contract," the Washington Post reported.

Parents find long-lost daughter after 24-year search

A couple in southwest China recently found their missing daughter after searching for 24 years.

>> Watch the video here

According to the BBC, Wang Mingqing and Liu Dengying of Chengdu lost their 3-year-old daughter, Qifeng, in 1994 after Wang left the family's fruit stand to get some change. Although the parents launched what would become a decades-long search, buying newspaper ads, posting descriptions online and scouring the city, police could not find the girl.

>> Read more trending news 

But things started to change in 2015, when Wang started working as a taxi driver to expand his search. He put a sign on his car and handed out flyers to his passengers. Chinese media outlets learned of his efforts and shared his story. 

Two years later, a police sketch artist who had heard about Wang's search drew an age-progressed picture of Qifeng. Last month, 27-year-old Kang Ying, who lives 1,700 miles away in the northeastern province of Jilin, saw the image and thought it looked a lot like her, the Global Times reported. Kang, who was adopted and grew up just 12 miles from Chengdu, tracked down Wang on social media and took a DNA test, which confirmed that she was his missing daughter.

>> Read more trending news 

The family had an emotional reunion Tuesday in Chengdu.

"The whole world told me I didn't have a mother, but I do," Kang told thecover.cnaccording to the BBC.

And Wang was finally able to give his daughter a hug again.

"Daddy loves you," he said.

Boy bullied for having different-colored eyes, cleft lip adopts cat that looks like him

A bullied Oklahoma boy and his adorable new best friend look like they could be twins — well, almost.

According to "Today," Madden Humphreys, 7, of Owasso started feeling sad after other children made fun of his cleft lip and different-colored eyes, also known as heterochromia iridium.

>> Need something to lift your spirits? Read more uplifting news 

“He wasn’t (insecure) until other kids started pointing it out to him and then saying not nice things to him,” his mother, Christina Humphreys, told "Today." 

But Christina soon found something she knew would cheer him up — a rescue cat that looked like her son.

“Last week, a friend posted an image of the cat in our cleft moms group," she wrote in a now-viral post for Love What Matters. "This kitty was taken in by a rescue group in Minnesota. We knew immediately that this kitty was meant to be part of our family. Not only does he have a cleft lip like our 7-year-old son Madden, he also has complete heterochromia iridum, like Madden. They were destined to be best friends. Funny how a pet can make you feel less alone."

>> Read more trending news 

Although money was tight, friends helped the family fund the road trip to Minnesota. There, they adopted the cat, Moon.

“We’re usually not spontaneous people, but we knew that we were meant to love this kitty," she wrote for Love What Matters. "Moon, the kitty, and Madden are the perfect companions for each other. In a word full of bullies and hateful words, we will choose to chase love. I think it’s safe to say that this kitty is love, and was certainly meant to be part of our journey and Madden’s journey."

You can follow Madden and Moon on Instagram at @maddenandmoon.

Read more here and here.

Gator’s got the answer: Family uses alligator for gender reveal

A Louisiana family has pushed the envelope for its gender reveal.

They used an alligator. 

But it was no big deal for Mike Kliebert. He’s a gator wrangler, trainer and tour guide with the nickname, “T-Mike, the Gator King,” WGNO reported.

So how did he use the gator for the big reveal?

>> Read more trending news 

Kliebert opened the gator’s jaws and fed him a hollowed-out watermelon. The gator chomped down and blue jello came out, WGNO reported

The video has gone viral with more than 91,000 shares and 6.8 million views.

Related video: 

Rubber ducky you’re the one - to be filled with harmful bathtime bacteria

Does your child love to play with yellow, rubber ducks during bath time? Beware, because the toy could store some nasty bugs, according to a new report

» RELATED: Hand-me-down toys could pose serious health risks, study says

Researchers from institutions in Switzerland and America recently conducted a study, published in Biofilms and Microbiome, to determine what germs the item might harbor. 

>> Read more trending news 

“While bathing typically means good hygiene, bath toys can serve as incubators for microbial growth. Microbes colonize nearly every natural and human-made surface, sometimes living within complex communities called biofilms,” the authors wrote in the study.

For their assessment, they counted the microbes inside five ducks and found that the liquid released when four of them were squeezed contained “potentially pathogenic bacteria.” 

» RELATED: Teen contracts dangerous germ from puppy bought at Petland

The ducks also had a high volume, or up to 75 million cells per square centimeter, variety of bacteria and fungus. One included Legionella and Pseudomonas aeruginosa, a bacterium linked with hospital-acquired infections, and certain amounts of other bacteria that can lead to eye, ear and intestinal infections.

They believe when the microbes combine with soap and human secretions, like sweat, in the tap water, the mix forms potentially harmful biofilm. 

“This work sheds light on how microbes are spread by our routine activities and that we are bathed in microbes, literally,” the authors said.

While some of the microbes may lead to disease-causing strains, the researchers said they need to continue their investigations to analyze the disease risk associated with the toys. 

» RELATED: Consumer safety group W.A.T.C.H. unveils 'most dangerous' toys list

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