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Hand-me-down toys could pose serious health risks for kids, study says

Do you accept second-hand toys? Beware, because they could pose serious health risks for children, according to a new report. 

Researchers from the University of Plymouth recently conducted an experiment, published in Environmental Science and Technology, to determine the dangers of passed-down toys. 

>> Toys 'R' Us to close up to 182 stores nationwide; see the full list

To do so, they used X-ray fluorescence technology to examine 200 plastic toys, such as cars, trains, figures and puzzles, which were found in nurseries, thrift shops and homes across England. They were inspecting the items for nine hazardous elements, including antimony, barium, bromine, cadmium, chromium, lead and selenium.

After analyzing the results, they found that 20 toys had traces of all nine elements, which can be chronically toxic if children are exposed to them at low levels. If the kids put the products in their mouths, they can be introduced to the toxins faster.

>> Consumer safety group W.A.T.C.H. unveils 'most dangerous' toys list

"Consumers should be made more aware of the potential risks associated with small, mouthable and brightly coloured old plastic toys or components,” coauthor Andrew Turner told BBC. "Without that, the attractive cost, convenience and recyclability of previously used toys has the potential to create a legacy of chemical contamination for younger children."

Furthermore, a few of the toys didn’t comply with standards set by the European Council's Toy Safety Directive. In fact, red, yellow or black plastics were the worst, because they had too much too much bromine, cadmium or lead.

>> Read more trending news 

While scientists said second-hand toys “are an attractive option,” parents should use with caution. They also believe risky toys should be taken off the market altogether. 

Toddler puts dad’s efforts to keep her in room to shame

Two gates are no match for a determined girl who must get out of her room.

Wesley Quilty thought he beat his daughter at her own game by installing two baby gates to block her from leaving her room, The Sun reported

>> Read more trending news 

But she had something to prove when she threw something and had to go get it.

Quilty set up a camera to capture what could happen and now is going viral with his climbing kid as she thwarts his security plan.

The little girl’s mother tells Quilty that “This is all your fault,” as she follows after their child, The Daily Mail reported.

Toys 'R' Us to close up to 182 stores nationwide; see the full list

Iconic children's retailer Toys 'R' Us plans to close as many as 182 stores nationwide, the chain said in court documents Tuesday.

>> See the full list of stores set to close

The New Jersey-based company, which filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in September, has about 880 U.S. stores and 1,600 worldwide, CNN Money reported.

>> Read the court documents here

"The reinvention of our brands requires that we make tough decisions about our priorities and focus," Dave Brandon, Toys 'R' Us chairman and CEO, said in a letter posted on the company's website. "To that end and following a top-to-bottom assessment of our business, we have decided to close a number of our U.S. stores. We also intend to convert a number of locations into co-branded Toys 'R' Us and Babies 'R' Us stores. The actions we are taking are necessary to give us the best chance to emerge from our bankruptcy proceedings as a more viable and competitive company that will provide the level of service and experience you should expect from a market leader."

>> Toys ‘R’ Us files for bankruptcy: 3 things to know

>> Read more trending news 

If approved, "we estimate store closing sales to begin in early February, with the majority of locations closing in mid-April 2018," Brandon wrote.

>> Read the full memo here

>> Is your store closing? Click here or scroll down to find out

'Tide Pod Challenge': Georgia teen among those sickened in dangerous trend

Don’t do the Tide Pod Challenge. Seriously.

>> Watch the news report here

That’s the message poison control officials are urging people after a bizarre trend spread like wildfire online.

The challenge involves people popping the small laundry detergent packs in their mouths and posting videos online of themselves chewing and gagging on the oozing product.

Dozens of people have been taken to the hospital after doing the challenge. 

>> Doctors warn parents about dangerous 'Tide Pod Challenge'

Dr. Gaylord Lopez, the director of Georgia's Poison Control Center, confirmed to WSB-TV that the center has handled one case involving a teen.

“This year, we had a call about a 13-year-old. In fact, it was the mother who called us because the kid was getting sick and vomiting,” Lopez said.

While there's only been one confirmed “Tide Pod Challenge” case in Georgia, Lopez said this is a good reminder about the dangers of detergent pods in general.

There are still hundreds of children under the age of 5 getting sick from them.

“When you’ve got a young child picking up a packet, like I have in my hand, thinking it might be candy or food, you could see why kids are attracted to them,” Lopez said.

>> Read more trending news 

Lopez also wants parents to be aware of the latest social media craze.

“Parents need to know that if their young teens are getting into them, they can easily have problems ranging from just mild upset of the stomach to this stuff getting into their lungs and causing far more problems,” Lopez said.

Last week, YouTube and Facebook announced they are removing “Tide Pod Challenge” videos from their sites.

Experts: Parents feed babies solid food too soon

Are Americans feeding their babies solid foods too early?

One group of child-feeding advocates say yes and that the move to feed babies solids early can follow them for the rest of their lives.

>> Read more trending news 

The group, called thousanddays.org, examined nutrition for babies in America.

Thousand days refers to pregnancy through the first two years after birth.

Its research found that nearly 40 percent of parents are introducing solids too early and that only 22 percent of babies are exclusively breastfed for six months.

Thousanddays.org said that more than half of moms say they are getting mixed messages on what to feed their babies.

So what are parents feeding their children and when?

Chloe Barrera with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevents said that she oversaw a study that took a look at what 1,482 babies from the age of 6 to 36 months ate. Parents told researchers when they first ate food that wasn’t formula or breast milk. Other foods included juice, cow’s milk, baby food or other solids. About two-thirds of families were not following official recommendations. Some parents introduced foods too early, or before 4 months (16.3 percent) , many (38.3 percent) gave food to their babies between 4 and 5 months, while some held off solid foods until 7 or more months (12.9 percent), Huffington Post reported.

Barrera’s study was published in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.

But study authors say the numbers may be worse than reported since research depended upon self-reporting and that parents who know the recommendations may have under-reported the ages of their children and when they fed them solid foods, Huffington Post reported.

Experts say babies should be either breast fed or fed for their first 6 months because those foods have the nutrients babies need for development. 

The U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Department of Health and Human Services are both working on federal guidelines for children under 2 years old. The guidelines are expected to be released in 2020, Huffington Post reported.

Related video:

WATCH: Formerly homeless boy cries tears of joy when he sees his own bed

A formerly homeless boy was moved to tears when he was surprised with his very own bed to sleep in.

>> Click here to watch the heartwarming video

Eight-year-old Daeyrs of Detroit has been living in shelters with his mom, Dionna, for most of his life. They have been homeless since she lost her job as a nurse.

>> On HotTopics.TV: Boy cries when he learns about homelessness, gets involved to help 

According to “Inside Edition,” the family was finally granted state housing but couldn’t afford to furnish the home. Daeyrs had been sleeping on only blankets until the family got the help they needed.

Nonprofit organization Humble Design stepped in to make the house a home for the family.

“When we visited them earlier this week they just had an air mattress on the ground and a few camp chairs,” the organization wrote on Facebook.

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

Video shared to the group’s Facebook page shows Daeyrs touring the house with his mom for the first time. When it came time to tour his room, the designers told Daeyrs to close his eyes.

When he opened them, he saw a completely furnished room, complete with "Star Wars" posters, a desk, and most importantly, his very own bed.

>> Read more trending news 

He immediately broke down in tears.

“Seeing how much having a bed and his own room meant to Daeyrs, it really made me realize what’s important in life and grateful for everything I have,” Humble Design founder Tregar Strasberg told “Inside Edition.”

WATCH: Toddler born deaf hears music for the first time in adorable viral video

A formerly deaf toddler is discovering a love of music after hearing for the first time.

>> Watch the viral video here

Owen Montoya is 15 months old, and until recently, he was unable to hear. The boy from Phoenix was born deaf and recently underwent surgery to place a cochlear implant in his left ear, according to the Daily Mail.

>> On HotTopics.TV: These kids decided to give up their recess so they could learn sign language for dead classmate

Footage shows Owen reacting to hearing his parents’ voices for the first time and even dancing to music.

“We were so excited to see him enjoying music this much, it was the craziest moment ever,” said his mother, Janae Montoya, 26. “When we found out Owen was deaf, it was very hard for us, because our family is very musical. I’ve always wanted him to experience it.”

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

Montoya said Owen comes from a long line of musicians; both she and her brother used to sing, and Owen’s maternal grandparents used to sing as well.

Montoya said Owen has wide-ranging taste.

>> Read more trending news 

“He’s been plugged in the last two days listening to different stuff and absolutely loving it. He loves live music most. I think he feels like he’s actually there,” said Montoya.

She’s glad she can share his passion for music as he explores it.

“It can be heartbreaking knowing something is closed off to your child, and now he has every opportunity in the world,” said Montoya.

Big brother comforts sick baby sister in heartwarming viral video

A video of a boy comforting his baby sister is warming hearts across the country.

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

A video shared to Facebook by mom Danielle Davis of Haughton, Louisiana, shows her son quietly rocking his sleeping sister in his arms when she wasn’t feeling well. The video was viewed more than 2 million times on Instagram.

>> On HotTopics.TV: Baby girl cries tears of joy when she hears her mom’s voice for the first time

“The kids adore each other,” Davis told “Good Morning America.” “He can always make her laugh. They are siblings, so they have their moments of jealousy, but that’s to be had. Ninety percent of the time they really very loving toward each other.”

>> Read more trending news 

Check out the adorable clip below as 5-year-old John comforts 1-year-old Clara.

>> Click here to watch

Kelly Clarkson says she's 'not above' spanking her children

Kelly Clarkson has never been one to put too much value on the judgment of others, and she’s the same way when it comes to raising her two small children, daughter River Rose and son Remy.

>> On RareCountry.com: Kelly Clarkson shares a brand-new pic of her sweater-loving son

In an interview posted on Radio.com, the singer-songwriter recently said, “I’m not above a spanking, which people aren’t necessarily into. And I don’t mean, like, hitting her hard; I just mean a spanking.”

Clarkson, who has never shied away from being open with fans, also said, “So my parents spanked me, and I did fine in life and I feel fine about it.”

The Texas native explained about disciplining her 3-year-old daughter, “I warn her. I’m like, ‘Hi, I’m going to spank you on your bottom if you don’t stop right now. Like, this is ridiculous.’”

>> Read more trending news 

Clarkson also noted that, despite receiving the same sort of discipline as a youngster, “I’m a well-rounded individual with a lot of character, so I think it’s fine.”

Read more at RareCountry.com.

>> Click here to listen

Pregnant Joanna Gaines celebrates becoming an aunt for the 6th time

Pregnant Joanna Gaines isn’t quite a mother of five just yet, but she is an aunt to six nieces and nephews — one of whom was just born.

>> Chip Gaines announces baby No. 5 on the way

The “Fixer Upper” star took to Instagram on Thursday to congratulate her sister, Mary Kay “Mikey” McCall, and brother-in-law, David, on welcoming their sixth bundle of joy, a baby girl who came into the world just two days after Gaines announced her own pregnancy.

“My sister had her beautiful baby girl!” she captioned a touching family photo album featuring pictures from their hospital stay and added the hashtags #motherofsix #butshelooks16.

>> See the post here

“Fixer Upper” fans may recognize Gaines’s sister McCall from a recent episode of the hit HGTV show, during which the interior designer and husband Chip renovated a home for her family.

The same night the episode aired for the first time, the Gaineses also announced they’re expecting their fifth child following the couple’s decision to end “Fixer Upper” after its current season in order to focus more on their family.

>> Read more trending news 

“Gaines party of 7.. (If you’re still confused.. WE ARE PREGNANT),” Chip broke the exciting news on Instagram, with Joanna later sharing a look at her latest sonogram.

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