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Hot Cheetos, Takis under fire after mom blames spicy snacks for daughter's gallbladder surgery

A health warning tonight for parents: Doctors say popular spicy snacks are making many kids sick.

A doctor at LeBohneur Children’s Hospital in Memphis, Tennessee, told WHBQ that more kids have been checking in with stomach pain.

They believe the spicy snacks are the main contributor, and they are encouraging parents to know what their kids are eating.

>> Goldfish crackers recalled over possible salmonella contamination

“There's a YouTube video called 'Hot Cheetos and Takis,'” said Dr. Cary Cavender.

The video was made by elementary school kids and has more than 16 million views on YouTube. 

The music video is from 2012; it helped to skyrocket the popularity of spicy snacks.

>> See the video here

“We are seeing a bunch of kids in clinic with tummy pain. That's about our first question now: Are you addicted to Hot Cheetos and Takis? Hot chips?” Cavender said.

Cavender is a specialist at LeBohneur Children’s Hospital and said he is seeing more toddlers to teens with stomach pain.

“Probably 100 to 150 patients a month, between our group,” he said. Many of the young patients have inflammation and stomach pain, such as gastritis.

“A lot of them have to get put on medication to block acid because they have got actual inflammation in there,” Cavender said.

>> Taco Bell cheese dips being recalled due to possible botulism risk

Rene Atkins said her 17-year-old daughter was addicted to the chips.

“Four bags a week,” said Atkins, whose daughter is also named Rene.

Atkins said her daughter experienced the problems firsthand.

“My daughter had to get her gallbladder removed for eating those hot chips,” she said.

Cavender told WHBQ that it’s hard to connect the chips directly to that surgery, but they’re causing issues, in large part due to quantity.

“Generally, kids eat the whole bag, so they don't pay attention to that,” said Dr. Cavender.

The expert says whatever the brand, eat spicy snacks on rare occasions.

The stomach pain “will disappear if they quit taking on as much heat in their diet,” Cavender said.

Atkins said she is going to watch her daughter’s – and other neighborhood kids' – consumption closely.

“Even little kids coming down the street, if I see you with some hot Cheetos, some hot fries, some hot Takis, I am taking it,” she said.

The doctor said many of the patients’ parents had no idea how many bags their kids are eating.

>> Read more trending news 

One reason: There are dealers at school who sell little Ziploc bags of the snacks.

If your child is having stomach pain, consider going to the hospital, but the cause may not be chips.

If they are having issues for days, have them drink water, eat a balanced diet and monitor the pain.

Fritos sent WHBQ a statement regarding the recent advice from doctors:

“At Frito-Lay, we aim to delight our consumers and food safety is always our number one priority. Flamin’ Hot Cheetos meet all applicable food safety regulations, as well as our rigorous quality standards. That said, we realize some consumers may be more sensitive to spicy foods than others and may choose to moderate consumption or avoid spicier snacks due to personal preference. When consumers have questions or concerns about any of our products, we are available to answer their questions through our dedicated Consumer Relations team.”

Baby boom: 12 staff members at one hospital pregnant at the same time

Something may be in the water at Good Samaritan Hospital in Puyallup, Washington.

>> Watch the news report here

Twelve staff members in the physical therapy/rehabilitation department were at one point pregnant at the same time.

Four of them are currently on maternity leave. Three of them have delivered healthy babies.

>> 6 nurses in same unit discover they are pregnant at same time

Registered nurse Megan Ommodt gave birth to her first child, Evelyn, three months ago. She was among the first in the group to find out she was pregnant.

“It’s stressful to be a new mom, so to know that your co-workers are going through the same thing and you can be supportive of each other, it’s nice," she said.

For some other expecting moms, this was not their first time around at motherhood.

Licensed practical nurse Melissa Tucker is expecting her third child. She already has an 8-year-old boy and a 5-year-old girl.

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

“It’s kind of cool to answer their questions about things that they are experiencing that they never experienced before,” Tucker said.

Case in point: Her colleague, Jennifer Reynolds, who said her co-workers knew before she did that she was pregnant.

“I was super nauseous the week before,” Reynolds said. “When I found out, I was running to the bathroom and throwing up.”

The challenge now for the hospital is managing upcoming maternity leaves.

>> Read more trending news 

These women say the patients are loving this, and it’s been a great experience for the whole department.

“All of our patients now know who’s pregnant, how many are pregnant,” said occupational therapist Sarah Rediske, who is expecting her second child. “They love it. They joke about it and bring it up. It’s an uplifter around here for sure.”

Prince Louis' christening portraits revealed: Kate Middleton, royal family stun in new photos

Update 8:08 a.m. EDT July 17: The British royal family has released an additional photo from the christening of Prince Louis, the youngest son of Prince William and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge.

“The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge hope that everyone enjoys this lovely photograph of Prince Louis as much as they do,” Kensington Palace tweeted Monday.

>> See the photo here

Matt Porteous, who took the photo, also shared the image on Instagram.

“It was an honour and a privilege to photograph the christening of Prince Louis,” he wrote.

>> See the post here

Original report: The British royal family released four official portraits Sunday from the christening of Prince Louis, the youngest son of Prince William and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge.

>> PHOTOS: Prince Louis christened

According to Kensington Palace, Matt Holyoak took the new photos last Monday at Clarence House after the 2-month-old prince was christened at Chapel Royal at St. James' Palace.

>> Prince Louis christened: Prince George, Princess Charlotte join royal family at ceremony

In the portraits, Catherine, formerly known as Kate Middleton, beams as she holds the newest royal. Prince William and children Prince George, 4, and Princess Charlotte, 3, also smile for the camera in three of the shots.

>> Read more trending news 

Other photos include Prince Charles and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall; Prince Harry and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex; Kate's parents, Michael and Carole Middleton; her brother, James Middleton; her sister, Pippa Middleton, who is pregnant; and Pippa's husband, James Matthews.

>> See the photos here

Build-A-Bear pay your age promotion:  Lines closed, limited due to popularity

Update 11:25 a.m. EDT July 12: Build-A-Bear Workshop stores are closing the lines to shoppers who are looking to cash in on the pay your age promotion.

According to the company, local authorities across the country have told the stores to close the lines and not accept any more guests in the stores in the U.S. and Canada. For more information, click here.

Original story: Build-A-Bear Workshop has a new age-based promotion -- where you pay an amount equal to your age for one of the company’s stuffed animals.

For today, July 12, only, your age or your child’s age will net you a new furry friend for the amount that matches the age. 

>> Read more trending news 

But don’t worry. If you’re 60, you won’t be plunking down $60 for a stuffed animal. Officials with the company say no one will be over the age of 29 on Thursday. But if you do take a 1-year-old to the store, the bear will only cost you $1. 

There’s a catch, though. The deal is only available for members of Build-A-Bear’s Bonus Club. The deal is only while supplies last and is limited to one per customer. It is only available in stores, not online. 

For more information, click here.

Every Kid in a Park program gives 4th graders free entry to any U.S. national park

Trekking through some of the country’s most beautiful terrain just got cheaper. 

Thanks to the Department of the Interior’s Every Kid in a Park program, fourth-grade students can enter any of more than 2,000 of the nation’s national parks and other federally managed lands and waters for free for one year. 

Fourth-grade students can sign up for the free pass at everykidinapark.gov.  

>> Read more trending news 

The first three members in a group with a visiting fourth-grader will be granted free entry as well at sites that charge per person. For those that grant payment and entry by car, any accompanying passengers in a private, non-commercial vehicle with a fourth-grader will be allowed to enter at no charge. Educators can also obtain free passes. 

The Every Kid in a Park program encourages children to be active and explore nature at a time when more than 80 percent of American families live in urban areas and young people are more tethered to electronic devices than ever.

According to the program, the goal of the promotion is to “inspire fourth graders nationwide to visit our federal lands and waters, whether it is a backyard city park or a national forest, seashore, or marine sanctuary. By targeting fourth graders year after year, the program works to ensure every child in the U.S. has the opportunity to visit and enjoy their federal lands and waters by the time he or she is 11 years old.”

In June, the inter-agency program announced that Every Kid in a Park has been renewed for the 2018-2019 school year. Passes will be available Sept. 1.

Learn more and get a pass at everykidinapark.gov

5-year-old boy shoots himself after getting mom's gun out of her purse, police say

A 5-year-old Virginia boy is in stable condition after police say he found his mother's gun in her purse and shot himself. 

>> 12-year-old boy shot in eye by paintball gun in drive-by

According to WTKR, the Portsmouth boy's mother was driving him to the doctor Tuesday morning when he got out of his car seat and found the gun in her handbag, Virginia State Police said. The boy then shot his own wrist as they traveled along Interstate 64 in Hampton, police said.

The woman was talking on her cellphone at the time of the incident, police said.

>> Read more trending news 

The boy is being treated at the Children's Hospital of the King's Daughters in Norfolk. 

Authorities are still deciding whether the child's mother will face any charges.

Read more here.

Father slaps children in front of police officer, gets arrested, officials say

Two North Carolina children, ages 5 and 3, wandered away from their home nearby and tried to cross New Hope Road near Eastridge Mall in Gastonia, police said.

>> Watch the news report here

Police said an officer walked the children home Sunday, and that was when the children's father, Tequan King, struck the kids in the head while the officer was still holding their hands.

A man who stopped to help the children trying to cross the street said he saw their father slap both children.

Police quickly arrested the father.

"It makes your heart almost stop, you know?" witness Daniel Byrd said.

>> On WSOCTV.com: Mom says 7-year-old daughter's 'Roblox' character was sexually assaulted in online video game

Byrd and his wife were driving when he saw the 5-year-old fearlessly step into traffic.

"He just held up his little hand, you know, but he was so short they couldn't see him trying to stop traffic," Byrd said.

A car came within inches of hitting the child and his sibling, Byrd said.

"I don't think I could have lived with myself if something had to have happened to those children," Byrd said.

The couple stopped and called police, and another passer-by helped the children get out of the street.

Byrd wonders if things could have been much worse.

"If he is assaulting the children in front of the police officer, then it has to run through your mind what they would have went through, if he goes them back home," Byrd said.

>> Read more trending news 

The children's mother was inside bathing another child when the incident happened.

She was not charged.

King is out of jail and has to follow social services’ instructions regarding contact with his children.

Mom says 7-year-old daughter's 'Roblox' character was sexually assaulted in online video game

A North Carolina woman is warning parents nationwide after her daughter witnessed disturbing sexual images on a gaming site for kids.

>> Watch the news report here

Amber Petersen of Raleigh said her 7-year-old was playing a virtual character on the game "Roblox."

>> Are your kids safe? Predators reaching children through online games

In the game, the character was face-down on a virtual playground after being attacked and sexually assaulted by two male characters.

Petersen said she was shown the attack by her daughter.

Petersen posted a warning about the gaming site on Facebook.

She wrote: “At first, I couldn't believe what I was seeing. My sweet and innocent daughter's avatar was being violently gang-raped on a playground by two males."

The post has been shared more than 2,000 times.

>> Read more trending news 

The popular gaming site "Roblox" is rated for kids ages 7 and older.

The gaming site responded, “We have identified how this bad actor created the offending action and are putting additional safeguards in place to reduce the possibility of this happening again in the future."

A spokesperson for the gaming site also said the person behind that virtual attack has been permanently banned from the site.

Copperhead snake bites Alabama girl swimming in pool

Apparently, snakes can be lurking anywhere – even in your swimming pool.

According to WBRC, Chappell Williams, 9, of Mountain Brook, Alabama, recently was taking a dip when a copperhead snake sank its fangs into her hand.

>> Rattlesnake bites 1-year-old boy while hiding near toys, slide in family's backyard

Her father, Reed Williams, said the snake, which likely was hiding behind the pool ladder, struck Chappell as she was climbing out of the water.

>> Swimmers find rattlesnakes living in pool noodles

"She thought she had a scratch, but I saw the two fang marks, and I knew she'd been bitten," he told WBRC.

He spotted the snake swimming toward the steps and removed it from the pool, then killed it, he said.

>> Read more trending news 

Chappell, who was treated at a nearby hospital, told WBRC that she's "feeling great now" but will check the pool "about five times" before jumping in again. Her dad echoed the sentiment, saying he and the rest of the family will be "very cognizant, very vigilant about the pool."

Read more here.

Rattlesnake bites 1-year-old boy while hiding near toys, slide in family's backyard

A Texas toddler was hospitalized Tuesday after a rattlesnake bit him outside his Abilene home.

>> Severed rattlesnake head bites Texas man

According to KTXS, Harrison Bakke, 1, was playing outside when the snake, which was near the boy's slide and toys, bit his hand.

>> Sea lice in Florida? Beachgoers warned about itch-inducing pests

Harrison's mother, Erin Bakke, told KTXS that she usually looks for snakes before letting her children go outside, but they sneaked out the door when she left the room. She said Harrison cried out as she was joining the kids in the backyard.

>> Brown recluse spiders: 4 things to know as the dangerous pests become more active

"I saw his hand was bleeding, took him in, rinsed it off," she told the news station. "It looked like a snake bite."

She then spotted a rattlesnake among the children's toys and called 911.

>> Read more trending news 

Doctors at Cook Children's Medical Center are giving Harrison more than two dozen vials of antivenom, KTXS reported Wednesday. He's also had surgery.

KTAB reported that health officials expect the boy to "make a full recovery."

Read more here or here.

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