Screen time for children

  1. What is the possible impact of children spending excessive hours on screen, can you list few?

The American Association of Pediatrics identifies screen time as time spent using digital media for entertainment purposes. Other uses of media, such as online homework, doesn’t count as screen time. Owning a smartphone or tablet has now become a common practice even with young school going children. As much as it is a relief for children that summer vacations are just around the corner, this time could be rather worrisome for parents with them thinking of ways to keep their children engaged during the two months. Kids of every age spend hours before a TV, phone or tablet which is not always a bad thing. What decides the effect of screen time on children is the kind of program they watch and how much time they spend watching the same.

Children use electronic devices for different purposes, a few being; to play video games and computer games, texting, using social media, playing hand-held games, to watch cartoons or shows and even to complete homework.

Excessive use of electronic devices and screen time has an impact on various aspects of a child’s development, namely;

  • Disrupted sleep cycle resulting in lack of adequate sleep
  • Brain developments issues and behavioral problems
  • Obesity
  • Poor performance at school
  • Anti-social activities like crime, sex, violence etc. that are commonly depicted on TV/shows that may have a negative impact on children, particularly adolescents

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Blood Donation

Tattoos and Blood Donation

Can people with tattoos donate blood?

Yes, people who have undergone body art procedures (tattoos) or have body piercings can surely donate blood but only after a specific period of time and once you meet certain established regulations. As per the World Health Organization guidelines, one is eligible to donate blood only after a year of getting a tattoo. Blood donation regulations for individuals with tattoos differ across different geographic locations. In the UAE, one will have to wait for 12 months to donate blood after being tattooed. The donated blood always undergoes further testing in order to rule out possibilities of any blood borne illness or infections.

Why people with tattoos less than a year old are not permitted to donate blood?

Healthcare facilities deny blood donation to those whose tattoos are less than a year old in order to make sure that the tattoo has had enough time to heal. Although getting a tattoo is not legally fined or punishable in the UAE, it is still not widely accepted because it is considered self-harm religiously. It is important to get a tattoo from a legally authorized place since because otherwise it can put you at the risk of contracting illness. The tools, needles that the parlor uses may not be sterilized and can cause various skin diseases and severe blood borne diseases like, Hepatitis and even HIV.

A waiting period will allow the tattoo to heal completely as any reactions would occur within the first 6 months. The blood you donate is used to treat chronically ill patients and requires to be well tested and free of infections. (more…)

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Preventing infections while fasting

During Ramadan, there is a significant decrease in water consumption over a long period of time. The unrelenting heat, harsh sunlight and longer days do not make it easy for people who fast. When you add dehydration, fatigue and weakness to the equation, you can have several health complications, including kidney stones and urinary tract infections (UTIs) in both men and women. Symptoms of mild to moderate dehydration are increased thirst, headache, lightheadedness, constipation, dry skin and mouth. We receive a number of patients who come to us with dehydration during Ramadan. All individuals planning to fast need to recognize the issue in advance of the fasting period and adopt the right measures to reduce the incidence of the problem to have a safe and healthy holy month.

The incidence of kidney, ureter or bladder (KUB) stones and urinary tract (UTIs) infections can increase in individuals towards the last days of Ramadan. Stones are commonly seen in people who consume less than the suggested eight to ten glasses of water a day. When there is not enough water to dilute the uric acid, which is found in urine, the pH (alkaline) level within the urine lowers and becomes more acidic. A highly acidic environment in the kidneys is linked to the incidence of kidney stones. (more…)

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UAE, India come together to reduce plastic footprint on the occasion of World Environment Day

UAE consumes 13 billion plastic bags annually.

The Embassy of India in UAE and the UAE Ministry of Climate Change and Environment (MOCCAE) have joined forces to ‘Beat Plastic Pollution’.

On the occasion of World Environment Day, the minister of MOCCAE Dr Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi, and Indian Ambassador to UAE Navdeep Singh Suri, and heads of leading private sector companies in the UAE got together at the MOCCAE headquarters in Dubai to pledge their support to fight plastic pollution on Tuesday, June 5. The private companies that took the pledge are Aster DM Healthcare, the Apparel Group and Lulu Group.

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Harmful impacts of excessive use of earphones/headphones.

  1. Is it safe to use earphones or headphones? In either case is there a stipulated time frame during a day or night it can be used in terms of number of hours?

Everywhere you look, people walking on the streets, while commuting by the metro or cab, while working out etc. people are always using headphones or earphones that are connected to their mobiles or portable listening devices. It is not unsafe to use earphones or headphones. It is the volume of the music played on these devices that causes harm and damages the ear.

Individuals commonly speak at 60 dB and music should be played at a maximum of 😯 dB, and never exceed 85 dB or more. The volume of music played should be at 60% volume maximum and no more.

The damage caused to the ear depends on the level of volume the ear is exposed to and for how long. Exposure to noise levels of 100 Db is extremely harmful for more than 15 minutes. However, irrespective of the noise level, it is recommended to use earphones/headphones for not more than an hour at a stretch (more…)

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