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ONLINE News Briefs


Preventive Care, Teens, Airlines, Schools


ONLINE News Briefs

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Choose article section...Preventive Care: Primary care physicians: On the front line in the battle against depressionTeens: Online gambling is open to surfers of all agesAirlines: New ways to redeem mileage awardsSchools: Here’s help finding a good school

Preventive Care: Primary care physicians: On the front line in the battle against depression

Primary care physicians should routinely screen patients for depression, the US Preventive Services Task Force recommends. The panel reports that 5 to 9 percent of adult patients in primary care settings suffer from depression, and that up to 50 percent of those cases go undetected.

The group contends that doctors in primary care can begin to identify symptoms of major depression by asking two simple questions which may be as effective as longer screening instruments: "During the past two weeks … have you felt down, depressed, or hopeless?" And, "Have you felt little interest or pleasure in doing things?" The Task Force urges clinicians to have "systems in place" to ensure that patients who answer Yes receive an accurate diagnosis, effective treatment, and follow-up.

Teens: Online gambling is open to surfers of all ages

You and your children should be aware of the dangers of online gambling, says the Federal Trade Commission. More than 100 online gambling sites are easily accessed by minors. Online gambling can be addictive, and your own credit rating could be ruined if your children rack up gambling debts on your credit card.

Warnings that gambling is illegal for minors are often hard to find at these Web sites, and 20 percent have no warnings at all. Gambling sites are often advertised at other Web sites that are popular with kids.

Airlines: New ways to redeem mileage awards

Have lots of frequent flier points but don’t want to fly? Go shopping instead. Continental Airlines now lets OnePass members use milesto bid on selected items at eBay. Some items offered in early July included tickets to a Houston Astros baseball game and a New York Philharmonic concert.

You can also use mileage points toward purchases at online merchants such as Toy "R" Us and Amazon.com through MilePoint.com (www.milepoint.com). Several airlines participate in MilePoint, including Continental, America West, Delta, Midwest Express, Northwest, and US Airways.

Schools: Here’s help finding a good school

If you’re looking for a new hometown, the Web can help you pick the right school system for your kids. Look up class sizes, academic offerings, average student SAT scores, and the phone numbers for school officials at The School Report, a free service offered by Homestore.com ( www.homefair.com), an online realty site. You can also get loads of federal statistics from the National Center for Education Statistics (www.nces.ed.gov).

SchoolMatch (www.schoolmatch.com) takes raw data such as SAT and ACT scores and presents it as national percentiles, which makes it easier to compare school districts. But you’ll have to pay for the information. A brief report that lists a district’s national percentiles for SAT scores, per-pupil expenditures, school system size, and education level of residents costs $10 online. A more-detailed report that compares public or private schools with others in the region and nationwide costs $34.


Yvonne Wollenberg. ONLINE News Briefs.

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