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EARLY CHILDHOOD

Protecting children from DIGITAL STRAIN

With a rising number of parents using tech gadgets to pacify toddlers, it’s unsurprising that over the past decade there’s been a corresponding increase in the incidence of digital eye strain among young children. Children below five years are most vulnerable to ocular damage, as their still-developing eyes are unable to cope with the speed of moving images on electronic screens.

Digital eye strain, aka computer vision syndrome (CVS), describes a group of eye and vision-related problems that result from prolonged computer, tablet and mobile phone usage. Among the most common symptoms associated with CVS are eyestrain; headaches: blurred vision; dry eyes and neck and shoulder pain.

“Over the past six years I have witnessed an increase in the number of children under five suffering vision-related problem. Most complain of photophobia i.e, discomfort or pain to the eyes due to light exposure, and dry eyes. Prolonged exposure to digital screens can have damaging consequences on children’s eyes. Parents need to desist from using smart phones and computer tabs as pacifiers,” says Dr. Dahlia Krishnan, consultant ophthalmologist, Dr. Sreekanth’s Eyecare, Calicut.

DRY EYE SYNDROME

According to Krishnan, symptoms of dry eye syndrome are irritation, redness, and discharge.”While viewing mobile phones, children often forget to blink because because they are transfixed by fast moving digital images. This is a major cause of dry eyes. With every blink, the surface of the eye is moistened so WHEN CHILDREN don’t blink enough irritation prompts a child to rub her eyes which causes greater discomfort, leading to dry eye syndrome,” she explains.

Krishan advises older children and adults to take a break after every 20 minutes on screen, and look into the distance for 20 seconds, allowing eye muscles to relax.

MYOPIA

Among the many vision-related problems traced to excessive digital screen focus are refractive errors such as myopia and astigmatism. The American Academy of Paediatric Opthalmology says that too much on-screen time can aggravate the myopia of children already suffering from this vision ailment. Moreover it can induce myopia in children who don’t have it.

Comments Dr. Girijia Suresh,

Consultant paediatric ophthalmologist, Fortis Hospital, Mulund, Mumbai: “On average, I ten children every month for ocular problems related to excess digital screen exposure. The blue light emitted from laptops and mobiles is absorbed by the eyes, making optical tissues vunerable to damage. Thre is a postulation that in the long this could cause major damage to the retina, and increase and increase the chances of earky onset of cataract. Moreover when children play video games or watch animated movies, they ussualy do it in dark rooms with the ight intensity constantly increasing and decreasing. For every change in light intensity, eyes have to accommodate the size of pupils which dialate and revert. This makes children vulnerable to myopia.”

Dr. Suresh,s advice for digital screen time for children: 0-2 years-olds: nil; 2-5-years]-olds: 30 minutes per day and 6-14 years:1-2 hours per day.

POSITION IT RIGHT

Useful pointers on positioning of digital gadgets to minimize eye strain-

  • The correct distance for reading books, mobiles and tabs is 30 – 40 cm from the eyes.
  • The visual distance from screens of laptops and computers is 40 – 75 cm. This distance causes least eyestrain and reduces vision problems.
  • Uncorrected vision problems can increase digital eye train.
  • It’s advisable to view a computer or laptop sitting erect with eye looking downwards.
  • Optimally, digital screen should be 4- 5 inches below eye level. Always position monitors and screens to avoid glare from overhead lighting and reflections from windows.

FUN WITH WORDS

In the name of EPONYMS

It’s common practice to honor a person by naming a street/institution after her, but highly uncommon to have a word named after an individual. Eponym is a name/noun formed after a person. For instance, the Elizabethan age pertains to Queen Elizabeth I of England. Elizabethan is an eponym.

In the modern world, many political trends were christened after politician who set them. For example, Stalinism and Thatcherism. Many places towns, cities or countries are eponymously named. For example, Vancouver is named after explorer George Vancouver.

Medical jargon boats many eponyms with several diseases/viruses named after the site where they were discovered. These are known as geographic eponyms in medicine. Some examples:Bombay Blood Group,Jaipur Foot and Rocky Mountain spotted Fever. Plaster of Paris was named after the French capital when medicos there began using plaster to mend broken bones.

Numerous verbs have also been derieved from historical figures with their names linked with their ideas/innovations .the word boycott,chauvinist,quislingand sandwich originate from personal names.

Not surprisingly, famous people are eponyms for their innovative apparel. Cardigan is eponymous with the Earl of Cardigan and raglan is derived from Lord Raglan who saw action in the Crimean War.

Unsurprisingly literature has inspired eponyms. It’s common to find eponymous terms in literary criticism such as Dickensenian for melodramatic poetry and eccentric characters, and Proustian for personal memories.Similarly, mythology has spawned many an eponym such as someone having the Midas touch, an Achilies’ heel and being Herculean or a Venus.

Scientist are often honored for their innovations through linking their names with products-Rudolf Diese, Alessandro Volta and James Watt, or to process or Calculus. Likewise, botanist has plants named after them, such as magnolia and poinsettia.

Alzheimer’s disesase is named after its discoverer. Dr Alois Alzheimer, a German physician , who presented the case history of a 51 year old woman who suffered froma rare brain disorder. Avogadro’s number is named after early 19th century Indian scientist Amedeo Avagadro, who in 1811, first proposed that the volume of gas is proportional to number of atoms and molecules irrespective of the nature of a gas.

It is common to have companies named after their founders. For Instance when we refer to the eponymous founder of Ford Motor Company, we mean Henry Ford.

Words are formed in many ways. Eponyms help us remember important people in history who have contributed to shaping the human condition.

CAREER WATCH – EVENTS MANAGERS ARE HOT PROPERTY

From organizing birthday bashes,Wedding anniversaries to college festivals. India’s newly arrived and fast- multiplying tribe of events organizers or managers have entered the corporate world with panache and pizzaz. Suddenly events management firms and start up are sprouting across the country and events managers with the required skills and experience are hot property in a languishing job market.

Event management as a vocation has its origin in in – house events including beauty paegents.But circa the mid 1980s corporate managers became aware that they could target small and specific markets and build up customer goodwill and patronage by organizing fun filled promotion events.

Hitherto companies tended to focus solely on above the line marketing, spending on traditional mass media such as television, radio, and print advertising the promote their brands and products. Of late, however , they are venturing beyond mass media to win friends and influence people Consequently promotion budgets have jumped as high as 40 percent in some cases.

Because carefully orchestrated evenets facilitate direct interaction with captive customer, a growing number of corporate managements are providing for them in their sales promotion and marketing budgets. Whether they are glittering product launches,silver anniversaries of hit films, sponsored cultural events, fashion shows,or bug fat weddings, they all have to be professionally organized down to the smallest details. This requires a lot of backstage work and professional expertise.

Qualities required for success in this yet-developing profession are ability o work long hours, to take spot decisions with little room of mistake,intelligence and creativity. Another requirement is working knowledge of civic,criminal and other laws to stay the heavy hand of the police and municipal authorities to protect the intense of clients.

Study Programmes – During the past few years several institutions have sprung up to offer courses in events management. Although a good degree and on- the – job training are adequate,a diploma in event management is an additional advantage in the present scenario.

Events management is offered as a subject in most advertising and public relation courses. Though not comprehensive, they provide an overview of the subject. Specialized courses are offered in several institutes which have recently sprung up in Mumbai and other parts of country. You can opt for a course in events management if you are equipped with a bachelor’s degree or even a Plus Two Certificate. Information about formal event management training programmes in other parts of country is not readily available. However few among the high profiles institutes offering formal EM training are –

  • NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF EVENT MANAGEMENT(www.niemindia.com), Mumbai with branches in Pune,Ahmedabad,Odhisha,Jodhpur and Kohlapur offers a 11- month part time diploma in event management, 11 month part time PG diploma in event managements and a 11 month diploma in advertising, media and event management.
  • Colleges of Event and Media (http://www.coemindia.com) Pune, offers a PG diploma in event management, and special diploma in event management.
  • INSTITUTE OF TOURISM AND FUTURE MANAGEMENT TRENDS (www.itft.edu.in) Chandigarh, offers a PG diploma in event management and conferences and event management through correspondence.
  • EVENT MANAGEMENT DEVELOPMENT INSTITUTE (www.emdiworld.com) Lower Parel, Mumbai with branches in Delhi and Bangalore , offer a postgraduate diploma in event management and public relations and postgraduate diploma in event management.
  • NATIONAL ACADEMY OF EVENT MANAGEMENT AND DEVELOPMENT (www.naemd.com) with branches in Ahmedabad, Jiapur, Delhi and Mumbai offers a diploma and postgraduate diploma programmes in events management.
  • INSTITUTE OF INTEGRATED MARKETING COMMUNICATIONAND MANAGEMENT (www.iimcm.net) New Delhi offers a 11 month Postgraduate programmes in event management

There’s a great future in this field for the energetic and the innovative with events management likely to acquire industry status like television and films.

Energizing Brain Foods – HEALTH AND NUTRITION

Its exam time and children are burning the proverbial midnight oil preparing for the critically important final exams. During this period, student’s meal should be rich in Carbohydrate, Omega 3 fatty acids and anti- oxidants. its also important for children to drink plenty of water and avoid caffeine and aerated drinks. Here are two recipes which will energize children during those long hours of brain work.

AVACADO CHOCOLATE BITES

This recipe contains three ingredients the brain loves – banana, avocados and eggs. Avocados contains monounsaturated fat, which ensures healthy blood flow and in turn healthy brain functioning. Bananas provide carbohydrates and eggs the proteins, vitamins and egg the proteins, vitamin and minerals.

INGREDIENTS –
  • 1 cup Avacado flesh(ripe
  • )
  • 1 banana
  • 1 egg
  • ½ cup cocoa powder
  • 2 tbsp honey(optional)
  • Dark chocolate chunks to taste
  • ½ tbsp baking soda
PREPARATION GUIDE-
  • Preheat oven to 350® F
  • Combine Banana, avocado and honey in a bowl. Mix until smooth.
  • Add the egg, baking soda and cocoa powder and blend.
  • Sit in the dark chocolate chunks, broken into bits.
  • Drop spoonfuls of cookie dough on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
  • Bake for 12 – 15 minutes or until the centre is set.
  • Let it cool for five minutes on the baking sheet, then transfer it to a cooling rack.
  • Consume immediately or store the cookies for up to five days in the refrigerator in an air tight container.
CARROT SOUP

Carrots are good source of Beta-Carotene,Fibre,Vitamin K , Potassium and Antioxidants. Turmeric contains Curcumin which has powerful anti inflammatory and antioxidant properties. Adding a pinch of pepper to the turmeric activates.

INGREDIENTS
  • 3 carrots
  • 1 large onion
  • 3 minced garlic cloves
  • 1 inch finely grated fresh ginger
  • 2 inch finely grated fresh turmeric
  • ¼ tbsp pepper
  • 4 cups vegetable stock
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 packet coconut milk
  • Olive oil
  • Blask seasame seed
PREPARATION GUIDE
  • Dice the onion and carrot into small chunks and grate the ginger and turmeric finely.
  • Heat a small amount of olive oil in a large stock pot and sauté the onion for three minutes until translucent. Now add the minced garlic, turmeric, pepper and ginger and sauté for another one minute.
  • Next,add the carrot and sauté for two minutes.then add the vegetables stock and simmer for 20-25 minutes until the carrot is cooked through and soft.
  • Use a stick blender to blend the soup until its smooth. Stir in the lemon juice. Serve with a swirl of coconut milk and black seasame seed.

DO IT YOURSELF - CITYSCAPE FOR YOUR LIVING ROOM

Participating in creative DIY activities with children is a great way of bonding the family. Every child will remember special moments spent with parents making something wonderful.

While starting DIY project with your child, shun the mobile phone and other distractions. This will demonstrate that focusing on completing and activity task often necessitates switching off gizmos and forsaking all distractions. If your child is too young to safely handle the scissors, you will need to do the cutting and chopping. But please encourage your child to air ideas.

To create a cityspace,first experient with stock/chart paper to see if it is stiff enough to stand steadily. If not, try a different variety. Card sheets in different textures are available in the market- they will add beauty to your city scape.

MATERIALS
  • Cardboard box
  • Stiff white card/Chart paper
  • Scissors(large and small)
  • Craft glue
  • Blue paper
METHOD
  • Draw a rough sketch of a landscape with houses, trees and clouds on the chart paper.
  • Cut off the upper part of the cardboard box, so that the back is left intact, and the front is cut to a low level making the first layer.
  • Cut out way patterns for the landscape, as seen in the picture and paste them three centimeters apart behind each other creating different layer adding dimension.
  • Fold strips of paper sideways and cut out the house shape and building shapes.
  • Use small scissors to cut out the doors and windows. By cutting folded paper, you can ensure that all the buildings are symmetrical.
  • Cut out clouds, mountains trees bushes and other shapes.
  • Paste blue paper at the back of the scene.
  • Arrange the cut-outs and paste different ones on different layers for a lovely scene.
  • To create dramatic effects buy a string of serial lights in white or blue. Place the string in between the layers. Switch on the lights and watch the magical effect.
  • Once you have made one cut out scene you can try out different ones.
  • You could make a forest a garden a candy land or whatever your creativity prompts.