Balance Technology With Outdoor Play Time for Healthier Kids

Five words or less(NewsUSA) – Many children are too busy tweeting to go outside and hear a real tweet. Kids today spend an average of seven hours per day using electronic media but only four to seven minutes outside in unstructured outdoor play time.
“The importance of media in today’s world is indisputable, but a sky’s-the-limit approach to technology can have a powerful downside for kids if it’s not tempered with something more down to earth,” said Lindsay Legendre, manager of the National Wildlife Federation’s Be Out There movement — an effort to get more children outdoors more often.
Research shows that spending time outdoors makes kids grow lean and strong, enhances their imaginations and gives them time to let off steam and just be kids. The Kaiser Family Foundation says children who spend too much time with technology are more likely to get fair or poor grades. As a result of research like this. NWF’s Be Out There movement created the “Outdoor Play for Every Day: A Parent’s Guide for Overcoming Common Obstacles to Kids and Outdoor Play,” which is loaded with tips and activities to help parents overcome the lure of technology and other common obstacles to getting kids outdoors.
Consider the following suggestions to maximize outdoor time while making peace with media and technology:
* Monkey See/Monkey Do. Set a good example about limiting tech time, and your kids will be more likely to follow suit. Talk to your kids, and let everyone have a say on the amount of time that screens will be used each week so ground rules are clear up front.
* Pay to Play. Encourage kids to earn screen time by balancing it with equal amounts of reading, chores or playing outside. Len Saunders, author of “Keeping Kids Fit” and father of two, suggests that for every hour of physical activity, kids earn 30 minutes of tech time.
* Let ‘Em Pick. Offer kids a set amount of screen time each day and let them decide how to use it (watch TV, play video games or surf the web). If the weather is nice, and they want to trade their screen time for playing outdoors, they can bank their screen time for use on a rainy day.
* Go Geocaching. Take your kids on an outdoor adventure that combines popular GPS technology and a treasure hunt. Don’t have a GPS? There are several smart phone apps that can do the trick. Learn more at www.Rangerricktrails.com.
For parents who want their kids to enhance their physical and mental health by playing outside more often, the Be Out There Parent Guide is a valuable resource. Find the Guide and more ideas for enjoying outdoor time at www.beoutthere.org.

7 Home Filters You Probably Didn’t Know Should Be Changed

Five words or less(NewsUSA) – Home cleaning is a catch-all phrase for the general de-clutter and organizational projects that abound when messiness trumps neatness. But in addition to clearing out the garage, don’t forget to change those oft-neglected filters that can harm your health if left unclean.
“Humidifier filters, for example, are designed to wick the water and make it easier to evaporate in the air to increase humidity. But, if not changed they can become oversaturated and susceptible to mold, mildew, and bacteria growth that can make you sick,” says Alex Hertzog, a water specialist with Filters Fast who is certified by the Water Quality Association.
Most of us eventually remember to change the obvious filters, like those on our stove vents or the PUR filter on our tap. But what about changing filters you don’t even know you have?
According to the experts, there are seven filters you probably don’t know you should be changing.
1. Microwave filter. The filter traps grease and odors from the air, thus protecting the appliance and also preventing odors from recirculating and affecting the taste and smell of your food. The microwave filter should be replaced every 6-12 months.
2. Showerhead filter. The filter reduces harmful chemicals that can dry out your hair and skin, leading to other negative effects on the body. It should be replaced every 3-6 months.
3. Humidifier. Most people know humidifiers have a filter that should be changed, but what they don’t realize is that many humidifiers actually have up to three filters. It’s important to change all three filters.
4. Coffee maker filter. A filter is used in most coffee makers, and it should be replaced approximately every 60 brews.
“They’re designed to remove the disinfection chemicals from tap water. If the filters aren’t changed, they cause more exposure to ingesting chlorine,” says Hertzog.
5. Furnace filter. To reduce allergens like pollen, dust, pet dander, mold spores and dust mites from leaking into the air, it should be changed every 3-6 months.
6. Dryer lint filter screen. The lint filter screen should be replaced as needed, if it has build-up or tears in the screen. Changing the filter can prevent fire hazards, extend the life of your dryer and reduce energy bills.
7. Refrigerator filter. The filter on a fridge keeps ice fresh and cleans the water dispensed from the refrigerator.
Get more filter-related advice at www.filtersfast.com.

Get Big-Screen Video From a Portable Media Player

It’s been said that good things come in small packages. No other expression could more aptly describe the Neo-i — which, depending on your point of view — is a video  projector with an iPod sound dock, an iPod audio dock with a built-in projector, or a new category of product altogether. No matter what you call it, it’s a brand-new device that is revolutionizing the way people watch movies, play video games, share photos and give office presentations from their iPod, iPhone, Blu-ray/DVD player or any media player.