Using electronic screens is now part of everyday life for both work and leisure purposes. Smartphones and tablets are now seen as essential rather than luxury items. They help us gather information quickly and learn new things. However, they also can bring health risks for both children and adults.

It is pretty common to experience some degree of neck or shoulder pain when we use electronic devices a lot. Wrist and hand pain also occur. We often remain in a static position when on our electronic devices and an obsession with them means we are leading more and more sedentary lifestyles.

As parents we need to show good healthy habits to our children and this includes around the new technologies of the 21st century. We need to be looking out for bad posture in our children and teenagers. We need to be encouraging more time outdoors and providing good opportunities for exercise to ensure the healthy development of bones and joints.

As incredible as it might seem, studies have shown that excessive texting can lead to inflamed tendons and degeneration of the thumb joint.

Now let’s consider eye health. We know this is important. We take ourselves off to the optician’s regularly and even if we leave our own appointments a little too long, we tend to be on point at ensuring our children have frequent eye checks. Are electronic screens adversely affecting the health of our eyes?

Should we be considering a computer screen cover for eyes or is that being overly cautious?

In our increasingly busy world, we need our sleep as adults and of course want to ensure our children and teenager get a good night’s sleep. Blue light from smartphones and tablets causes strain to the eyes and can prevent you dropping off to sleep.

Although the amount of HEV light emitted by smartphones and other digital devices is much less than that emitted by the sun, the time people are spending on such devices and how close they keep their faces to the screen with bowed heads mean there are major concerns from eye experts about the possible long term impact of blue light on wellbeing.

Did you know that virtually all visible blue light passes through the cornea and lens and reaches the retina which is the inner lining at the back of the eye?

Scientific studies have shown that too much exposure to blue light can damage light sensitive cells in the retina. This damage resembles those of macular degeneration which can lead to the permanent loss of sight. Although more research is needed in this area, any parent would want to protect themselves and their children from any risk of sight loss.

So if you are using your phone all the time and so many of us do these days for texting, emailing and browsing the worldwide web, it is time to look at ways of protecting your eye health. A convenient way to reduce your blue light exposure is to use a blue light filter.

These filters are available for computer screens, tablets and smartphones. They prevent large amounts of blue light coming from your various electronic screens from reaching your eyes without affecting the visibility of the display on the screen.

When you sit down and think what it would be like to lose your sight or worse still see your child lose theirs, you realise how vital it is to consider the impact on eye health of any overexposure to electronic screens.

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Smoked salmon canapés are quick, simple and perfect for a wedding or a dinner party. My smoked salmon canapés recipe serves 6 and is ready in as little as 15 minutes.

Smoked Salmon

Ingredients

400g Norwegian smoked salmon

Scandinavian KnekkebrØd (or Rye) crisp breads

1 tub of cream cheese

2 tbsp crème fraîche

2 large unwaxed lemons (juice and zest of 1.5)

1 large bunch of dill, part chopped finely, part sprigs reserved

Freshly milled black pepper

Preparation

Mix the cream cheese, crème fraîche, chopped dill, lemon juice and half the zest, then add freshly milled black pepper.

Place the crisp breads on serving trays. Scoop some cream cheese filling and place on top of each of the crisp breads, using a fork to make the swirls.

Cut the Norwegian smoked salmon slices into ribbons, then roll and twist, and place on top of the crisp breads.

Top with individual sprigs of dill. Garnish with a couple of strands of the lemon zest.

If you enjoy eating smoked salmon, buy it from a reliable manufacturer, consume it by the “use by” date, and keep it properly refrigerated. If you eat it frequently, balance your sodium intake and include plenty of fruits and vegetables in your daily diet. A high intake of fruits and vegetables is associated with protection from stomach cancer.

What do you like to serve as canapés for special occasions?

This Mama

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I thought I would share the reasons I would like to visit Lanzarote with you.

When my Mum passed away, the first thing my Dad did was book a holiday. He asked if it was OK with me and I thought it was such a great idea after a year of caring for my Mum. He chose Lanzarote and my brother accompanied him. They returned time and time again so I reckon the place must have lots to offer.

Beautiful beaches

I have picked up my Dad’s love of the seaside and he told me about the amazing beaches in Lanzarote. When I go I will be heading straight for the resorts of Puerto del Carmen, Playa de los Pocillos, Costa Teguise and Playa Blanca. I will be looking for strolls on lovely beaches and my youngest son will definitely want to check out the water sports on offer.

Volcanoes

Another huge appeal for my son is that UNESCO has given the island World Biosphere Reserve status due to its amazing lunar-like landscapes with black rock formations and silvery mountain peaks. My son has a thing about volcanoes after a trip to the Natural History Museum so we will head for the Timanfaya National Park which has craters of more than a hundred volcanoes, the Fire Mountains.

Art

For my 13 year old daughter it will be the art that appeals. Lanzarote showcases unique creations from Cesar Manrique. He even created caves on the north coast that offer a chic bar and concert hall. How fancy is that?

Playa Blanca

My brother tells me there are many villas in Playa Blanca on developments spreading westwards from the port. To the east of the port is the town itself, building mainly restricted to two stories and the colours of white walls and green painted doors and shutters. Along the sea front are a number of bars and restaurants perfect places to watch the sunset whilst having a drink or a meal.

Apparently, fresh fruit and vegetable shops are in plentiful supply on the island and some shops even have cafes where you can enjoy coffee and cake. Although a small and relatively quiet town, Playa Blanca has plenty to offer including a water park for kids and the Pappagayo Beach  which is left largely as nature intended, cars not allowed too close.

Visit Lanzarote

So yes I think I will visit Lanzarote with Holiday Gems and try out the Canary Islands for the very first time.

Lanzarote is a welcoming friendly calm place to spend a holiday in the sun. It is around four hours flying time from the UK.

 

 

 

Twin Mummy and Daddy

We moved into a lovely new home about 5 weeks ago. It is so wonderful that we have spent the last few weeks just thanking our lucky stars for finding the perfect home for us.

Of course, now I have got to the point where I want to make the most of what we have got here but also make it our own with personal touches.

Blinds

We have curtains on the bottoms two floors but the third floor has lots of windows with no coverings. I have spoken with the boys who reside up there and they have both said they would like some funky VELUX blinds to give their rooms the wow factor.

My younger son has a rug already but I think my teenager has his eye on one from IKEA as the catalogue keeps turning up on my sofa every time I leave the room.

We have given up on our original futon idea for his room as we had a spare bed so just moved it to his room.

I am enjoying getting to the point with the children where they no longer make the sort of mess that used to happen when they were younger. They no longer take food upstairs which is a big win and they have less stuff here too as they have really outgrown the toys stage. I thought we would never get to this point! So we are in a lovely chapter where I can channel my interior designer although let me tell you they have their own strong ideas too and quite right too.

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School-Home Support (SHS) is the charity I have selected to partner with for the next 12 months.

School Home Support

Did you know?

Over 4 million children in the UK are growing up in poverty – 30% of the total number of children – and don’t always have food in the house

1.6 million children in the UK live in housing that is overcrowded, temporary, or dilapidated

These children who have done nothing wrong need champions and to access good education effectively so their lives can improve now and in the future.

SHS has been going for over 30 years and helps disadvantaged children and young people overcome barriers to education, such as poverty, housing issues and mental health issues by working closely with families. I agree with their philosophy that a child will never achieve their best in school if they’re hungry or worried about something going on at home.

SHS helps families with things like self-care, nutrition, money saving and parenting all of which are topics I cover on this blog so it seemed a great charity to get involved with on a longer-term basis.

As a former charity worker, I am delighted to promote a charity that takes such a holistic approach to supporting families and children. Often problems can seem to come all at once and as mere humans we can struggle to cope emotionally and practically when this happens. I was moved by Wendy’s story and it resonated with me as I suspect a lot of the people I counselled who were in debt back in my Citizens Advice Bureau days were also incredibly worried about the impact of their troubles on their children.

It is good to know SHS can get involved on so many different levels to help families move forward positively one baby step at a time. I hope you find ways to support the charity and I am delighted that they will be offering expertise from their practitioners via my blog.

I am really excited about this partnership with School-Home Support and look forward to sharing more about this wonderful charity over the coming months.

#ablogginggoodtime

Mum Muddling Through
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