Are you raising a child in Staten Island with autism, ADD, ADHD, dyslexia, developmental disabilities, down syndrome or anyone differently abled in any way? The Staten Island Special Needs Guide contains information, resources, doctors, psychologists, therapists, other professionals for parents of children with special needs.
Are you looking for the best places to go in Staten Island this winter? The Staten Island Guide to Winter Fun tells you what’s safe to do and what to visit during the cold months of winter. We’ve also got some fun suggestions for snow days, in case a snowstorm or blizzard hits Staten Island this January or February or even March. And if the weather is a little too chilly to go out, our editor revealed some of her top accounts for moms to follow on social media (so you can scroll away and tune out the crazy sounds of your cabin fever-stricken family).
Halloween dates back thousands of years to ancient Celts and Europeans. Although Halloween is largely associated with the celebrations that take place across much of North America, where 65% of Americans decorate their homes and places of business in the Halloween spirit, it is celebrated in various ways all around the globe.
In the past, Brits tossed objects such as stones, vegetables and nuts into a bonfire to frighten away the spirits. These symbolic sacrifices also were used as a form of fortune-telling. If a pebble thrown into the flames at night was no longer visible in the morning, then it was believed that the person who tossed the pebble would not survive another year. Halloween fell out of favor after the Protestant Reformation spread through the country. However, in recent years some have begun to adopt the American tradition of trick-or-treating.
A Halloween-type festival in Hong Kong is known as “Yue Lan,” which is the festival of the hungry ghosts. It is believed that, during this time, spirits roam the world for 24 hours.
Halloween is considered an American holiday by most French and was relatively unknown before 1996.
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Ireland is thought to be the birthplace of Halloween, and many of the same traditions of old are still practiced today. In addition to costumes and treats, individuals may play an apple-bobbing game called “snap-apple,” where participants have to try to take a bite of an apple suspended on a string. Children also play tricks on neighbors, including “knock-a-dolly,” which is essentially a variation on “ring-and-run.”
Many Spanish-speaking nations celebrate “El Dia de los Muertos.” It is supposed to be a joyous event where people remember friends and family members who have died. Candles and incense are burned to help the departed find his or her way home.
Some people will leave bread, water and a lighted lamp on the table on Halloween night before going to bed. It was once believed that such items would welcome the dead souls back to Earth on a night Austrians considered to be full of strong cosmic energies.
Czechs place chairs by a fireside on Halloween night. There are enough chairs for each living and dead family member.
Halloween traditions have just recently begun to blossom in Italy, where decorations and pumpkins are popular. While many of the traditions borrow from the Americans, there is at least one uniquely Italian tradition taking place in the hill town of Corinaldo. La Notte delle Streghe, “The Night of the Witches,” occurs in this town with music, dancing and a witch-themed fashion show that names Miss Strega (Miss Witch).
Halloween isn’t as popular in Australia as it is in the United States and Canada. Australians may celebrate Halloween as Guy Fawkes Eve or Mischief Night. Children create mischief or get treats. Many Australians simply celebrate the holiday with a dance at their schools.
Halloween is alive and well around the world. Perhaps this year North American families will want to incorporate some global traditions into their standard Halloween plans.
It’s important to separate fact from fiction, especially when the topic is eyesight. Knowing how to take good care of your eyes is the first step in protecting your sight. Don’t be blind to the facts—below are 10 common myths about vision, along with the facts.
Myth: Failure to use proper glasses will hurt your eyes.
Fact: This statement does have some truth in it for a small number of people. Some children have eye problems that can be corrected, and it is important that they wear their glasses. But vision problems caused by heredity or physical injury do not go away, even with glasses. While corrective glasses or contacts are needed to improve eyesight, using your eyes with or without glasses will not damage your vision further.
Myth: Reading in dim light can damage your eyes.
Fact: Reading in dim light can cause eye strain, but it will not hurt your eyes permanently.
Myth: Watching television for too long or sitting too close can damage your eyes.
Fact: There is no evidence to suggest that watching television for too long or sitting too close can damage your eyes. Young children often sit close to the television screen because they have a greater ability to focus on objects closer to their eyes than adults do. Due to this, children hold their reading material close as well. However, as they grow older, these habits usually change. If not, this may be a sign of myopia (nearsightedness). To detect possible eye problems, children should have regular eye exams.
Myth: Eating carrots will improve your vision.
Fact: While it is true that carrots, as well as many other vegetables, are rich in Vitamin A, which is an essential vitamin
for sight, only a small amount is necessary for good vision. A well-balanced diet, with or without carrots, provides all the nutrients the body needs. In fact, too much Vitamin A, D or E may actually be harmful.
Myth: Reading fine print for too long will wear out or damage your eyes.
Fact: This is one of the most widely held myths about vision. Some people are concerned that they should not read too much because it will wear out their eyes. Although extensive or prolonged reading of fine print can cause eye strain, there is no evidence to suggest that it will damage or wear out your eyes.
Myth: Wearing contacts prevents nearsightedness from getting worse.
Fact: Wearing contact lenses will not permanently correct nearsightedness. Myopia or nearsightedness is usually an inherited condition, and contact lenses can only be expected to improve vision. Contact lenses cannot prevent nearsightedness from getting worse.
Myth: Cataracts can be removed with a laser.
Fact: A cataract is a clouded lens of the eye—this procedure cannot be performed by a laser, only by surgery. However, after the surgery, the wrapping around the lens (called the casing) is left behind. This casing can become cloudy and cause blurry vision. The casing can then be opened with a laser, but the procedure should not be confused with the surgical removal of the clouded lens.
Myth: An eye examination is necessary only if you’re having problems.
Fact: Everyone should follow proper eye healthcare, which includes regular eye exams, whether or not you are having any noticeable signs of problems. Children should be tested at birth, at 6 months of age, before entering school and periodically throughout the school years. For adults, the frequency depends on your doctor’s advice and may be every two years or more often. If you have diabetes or an eye disease, you should go every year for a comprehensive eye exam.
Myth: There’s nothing you can do to prevent vision loss.
Fact: More than 90% of eye injuries can be prevented, when simple and relatively inexpensive safety precautions are followed. That means choosing the correct eye safety glasses for the job and wearing them 100% of the time. Regular eye exams can help save your sight. Early detection of vision problems is crucial to preventing vision loss from many eye diseases—especially diabetic retinopathy and glaucoma.
Provided by Prevent Blindness America
CityParks Green Girls Empowered by ING Afterschool program is an environmental science club that engages middle school girls throughout the school year in fun-filled online adventures about New York City’s parks and waterways, encouraging them to realize their potential to create change within the natural environment.
Through hands-on activities and the stimulating concepts of virtual field exploration, technology, advocacy and project-based science, Green Girls develop an understanding of natural ecosystems in NYC’s parks, learn about future careers in the sciences and understand their own power to advocate for the environment and their parks.
This year, because of the pandemic related changes, Green Girls will have a particular opportunity to focus on how climate change is affecting our city and our future. Students will learn about the history of climate action and how young people have advocated for the environment. The Green Girls Afterschool program will take part in advocacy as a group.
The program is available online in spring 2021 from March 8 – June 10, 2021.
If you have any questions or would like to register your child via phone please contact Sam Schwartz at (212) 360-2746 or [email protected] Applicants will be notified of acceptance into the program.
You can apply online at cityparksfoundation.org/green-girls-school-application.
For more information and to learn more about City Parks Foundation programs visit CityParksFoundation.org.
The stuffy nose, aches and pains that often accompany the common cold can leave sufferers feeling miserable for a week or more. It can be particularly worrying these days since some cold symptoms can be confused with COVID-19 symptoms. Cold season seems to kick into high gear when the temperatures drop, but this can be the year you don’t come down with a case of the sniffles. The following cold prevention tips can increase your chances of making it to spring without losing any days or sleep to the common cold.
- Keep kids clean. School-aged kids tend to carry home lots of germs, so when kids get home after a long day at school, make sure they wash their hands thoroughly and change into fresh outfits. Such precautionary measures can keep colds and other illnesses from running rampant through your house.
- Go outdoors and get some fresh air. It’s a myth that cold air will bring on a cold. In reality, being outside instead of congregating indoors with other sick people may decrease your risk of getting a cold. Don’t be afraid to go outside when the temperatures drop for fear of getting sick. Fresh air and exercise can be good for you.
- Drink plenty of fluids. Keeping your body hydrated will help flush toxins out of your body, strengthening your immune system and making it more capable of fending off colds.
- Keep your distance. Did you know the cold virus can be shot up to three feet away when someone sneezes? The virus travels on the small droplets of saliva and mucus that get propelled from the nose and mouth of a sick individual. If you know someone is sick, stay as far away as possible and wash your hands frequently, paying special attention to your fingertips.
- Wipe down surfaces. The cold virus can live on surfaces for up to 24 hours. That means a sick person can easily transfer a virus by touching a computer keyboard or remote control he or she shares with others. Use disinfecting wipes or warm, soapy water to clean off doorknobs, telephones, light switches, cabinet handles, and anything that is frequently touched around a home or business.
- Let it out gently. Blowing your nose forcefully or pinching your nose to hold back sneezes can irritate nasal passageways and make them more vulnerable to infection.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth. If you are well, keep your hands away from your mouth, nose, and eyes. Viruses are especially good at entering the body through the mucus membranes located in these areas of the body. A combination of frequent hand washing and avoiding touching your face can keep colds at bay.
- Maintain your exercise routine. Regular exercise can boost the body’s immune system and help it to fend off foreign invaders, including the cold virus. A recent study found that taking vitamin C in addition to daily exercise can reduce your risk of cold and cut the duration of the cold should you get one. Before taking any supplements, speak with your doctor to make sure they won’t interact negatively with other medications.
- Recognize that antibiotics are not the answer. Antibiotics are only effective at treating bacterial infections, not viruses, which means they are ineffective at fighting the cold virus.
- If you do get sick, play it smart. Should you succumb to a cold in spite of your best efforts, steer clear of others so you are not spreading the virus. Rest and fuel your body with healthy foods and beverages. There’s no need to visit a doctor for a cold unless you have a fever after several days of being sick. Colds normally last between seven and 10 days. If your symptoms do not improve or if they seem to be worsening, visit your doctor.