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Consumer Affairs

Knowing store policies will make post-Christmas returns easier

Here are the return policies of 5 major retailers

Different stores have different policies, so to help you sort through the process, here are the return policies for 5 major retailers: Target, Walmart, Best Buy, Toys R Us and Amazon.com.

Missouri AG sues 13 St. Louis County towns for speed-trap profiteering

Simply put, the towns are making too much money from traffic tickets

A civil suit filed by Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster against 13 St. Louis County towns alleges they're in violation of state law restricting income from so-called speed traps.

Prescription drugs still the leading cause of poisonings

But 'bath salts,' synthetic marijuana and laundry pods are rising fast

Prescription drugs are still the leading cause of poisonings in the U.S. but a new study finds that "bath salts," synthetic marijuana and laundry detergent pods are becoming common threats as well.

Air pollution in pregnancy linked to increased autism risk

Genetics and airborne pollution seen as significant

Pregnant women exposed to high levels of fine particulate matter -- particularly during the third trimester -- may face up to twice the risk of having a child with autism than mothers living in areas with low particulate matter, according to a new study from Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH).

No lie -- you can stop your kid from lying

Fear of punishment doesn't work

The best way to help your child tell the truth and be honest, is to not threaten them with punishment if they spill the beans and fess up. That's the primary finding of a study conducted at McGill University in Canada with 372 children between the ages of 4 and 8.

'Hypoallergenic' means what, exactly?

Not much, according to some experts

"Hypoallergenic" is like "natural" -- it just makes you feel good all over, as long as you don't break out in a rash. Neither word has any legal meaning, and should basically be considred as marketing hype.

Holidays can bring on more migraines

Here are some tips to improve your odds of avoiding one

Doctors have known for some time that some foods and drinks can trigger migraine headaches in some people. That's an important fact to remember around the holidays, when your food and beverage consumption may take some crazy twists and turns.

Apple's AirDropped astronaut sloths highlight a serious security flaw

If you have a Mac or any iGadget with AirDrop, you MUST check its settings

If your Apple device recently received the Astronaut or Space Sloth photo via AirDrop, learn from this and be thankful it wasn't a nasty virus instead.

Holidays can be stressful for kids

It's important to retain at least some routine and time for relaxation

While you are busy creating memories by frantically running to the mall, decorating cookies, figuring out how to please everyone, you might not realize the toll it is taking on the people you are trying to make everything so perfect for.

Pack holiday packages well and send them early

USPS, FedEx and UPS specify the last "ship-by" dates to get presents there on time

If you are mailing your holiday package yourself, here are a few suggestions to help you get it off the ground.

Draggin' the line can be tough on your pup

Learning to walk on a leash can take time, but it's worth it

The best way to help you and your dog in this walking adventure is to start them off as a puppy.

Malware alert: ignore that order confirmation email

And especially don't click on any links or download attachments in those emails

With the December holiday-shopping season revving into full gear, the world's thieves, fraudsters and malware writers have been doing the same thing.

Police body cameras: Protecting the populace or violating our privacy?

Like them or not, such technological changes are unavoidable

If you're recorded anytime you come into sight range of a police officer, that can help protect you if the cop misbehaves, perhaps. Otherwise, it merely ensures that there's one more database collecting information about you and your whereabouts.

Fireplaces are cozy but toxic

Roasting chestnuts on an open fire? Not a good idea

I must admit I love my fireplace and reading a good library book with my dogs by my side on the floor. The ambiance and the evening seem perfect. But I wake up wheezing the next morning.

Toy-related injuries on the rise

Foot-powered scooters appear to be largely responsible

Hot on the heels of the U.S. Federation of Public Interest Research Groups' release of its annual Survey of Toy Safety– reporting that some unsafe toys are still on store shelves – researchers have given parents something else to think about. Lots of toys can be dangerous and injure children.