(NewsUSA) - According to the American Optometric Association's (AOA) 2015 American Eye-Q survey, 41 percent of parents say their kids spend three or more hours per day using digital devices, and 66 percent of kids have their own smartphone or tablet.
It's clear children's use of digital technology continues to be an integral part of their lives in both the classroom and at home, and it's predicted that by 2028 -- the year in which kids entering kindergarten this fall will graduate high school -- many schools will rely heavily on computer simulations for instruction and will even incorporate virtual worlds into curriculu.
While these advances in the classroom may enhance learning, many digital devices are still relatively new, and the long-term effects on young eyes are not yet fully known. Most of today's commonly-used devices give off high-energy, short-wavelength, blue and violet light, which may affect children's vision and even prematurely age their eyes. Early research even shows that overexposure to this blue light could contribute to eye strain and discomfort and may lead to serious conditions later in life, such as age-related macular degeneration (AMD), which can cause blindness.
The first step in taking care of children's eyes is for parents to schedule a comprehensive eye exam for children prior to the beginning of each school year to check eye health and vision. Children now have the benefit of annual comprehensive eye exams, thanks to the Pediatric Essential Health Benefit in the Affordable Care Act, through age 18. The AOA recommends children have an eye exam by
an optometrist soon after six months of age, again at age three and annually thereafter.
With so much time spent on digital devices, it is also more important than ever for parents to watch for signs of digital eye strain in children. Symptoms can include burning, itchy or tired eyes, headaches, fatigue, loss of focus, blurred vision, double vision or head and neck pain. To protect their eyes and vision while using digital devices, parents should encourage children to take frequent visual breaks by practicing the 20-20-20 rule: when using technology or doing near work, take a 20-second break, every 20 minutes and view something 20 feet away.
To find an optometrist in your area, or for additional information on children's vision and the importance of back-to-school eye exams, please visit aoa.org.
(NewsUSA) - It starts when you receive the invitation in the mail -- either your computer's Inbox or the one that your junk mail gets delivered to.
That complex social conundrum of being asked to a party.
Do you bring wine or beer? Is wine too pretentious? There's always craft beer, or is that elitist? And what to wear? Is it a casual gathering or a dinner party where at least a sport coat is needed? Is it acceptable to add a plus-one, since you just started dating the potential man or woman of your dreams?
While modern-day society may no longer follow the social dictates of Emily Post's rules of etiquette, there's nothing like a soiree to throw many of us into an internal tailspin.
To help navigate the often frustratingly opaque rules of attending a party, be it cocktail, dinner or a child's birthday, the following tips can help:
* Call to RSVP. The French may not have the corner on manners, but they do know that RSVP means respondez s'il vous plait, or please reply. This is essential for the host to get an accurate headcount and not responding is considered rude and inconsiderate.
* Decode the dress code. Is it a formal affair in which tuxes and dresses are appropriate, or a more casual, anything goes party? If you're unsure, it's never inappropriate to ask the hostess.
* Go dateless. Unless specifically stated, it is considered rude to bring an uninvited guest or to ask if you can bring a plus-one. If you can bring a date, remember to RSVP for them, or conversely, if you accepted for your guest and plans change, let the host know that as well.
* Hold your liquor. While you may want to imbibe all the free-flowing alcohol, avoid drinking to excess. Nothing is more disrespectful and uncomfortable than a drunk party guest, particularly at more upscale affairs.
* Take what you need to feel comfortable. For some that's a small bottle of aspirin to ward off a headache, a pair of more comfortable shoes discreetly hidden in the folds of a coat, an embroidered handkerchief rather than bulky tissue, or if you're a smokeless tobacco user, something other than a spit cup or bottle. Smokeless tobacco accessories, such as the portable spittoon created by Atlanta-based FLASR, will help you avoid the uncomfortable (not to mention sometimes messy) aspects of enjoying your snuff, dip or chew while at a party. The new 4-ounce FLASR pocket-sized spittoon is designed to al-low users to open and shut it with just one hand, making it an ideal solution for users to enjoy smokeless tobacco unobtrusively and discreetly without unwanted attention.
For more information, please visit www.flasr.com.