Tag Archives: technology

Keep your laptops off your lap

By Mary Heston

Last week an article was published on Reuters titled, “Laptop Wi-Fi said to nuke sperm, but caveats abound”. The caveats in this article are provided by Dr. Oates, the president of the Society for Male Reproduction and Urology, who told Reuters Health he doesn’t believe laptops are a significant threat to male reproductive health. It is understandable that he doesn’t want parents to be concerned without real evidence and I can fully appreciate this.

At the same time they quoted him as saying that he was able to father two children even though he owns a laptop and an iPad. The point here is that laptops and iPads have not really become popular for in-home use until just recently. Parents today did not grow up having access to these tools until they were heading off to college.

The problem is not even so much the laptop, or the Wi-Fi, as much as it appears to be the heat that is given off by these devices. This heat, being directed right on our young boys mid section, may affect their sperm. The research is not fully conclusive yet and more research needs to be done. The research done in Argentina seems to be a good starting point.

We could, with some certainty, say that if our children would abstain from using laptops until they were in college, like most of us did, then there would probably be no concern about their reproductive abilities. But since our kids are using iPads and laptops as early as 3 years old now, there is reason enough to at least think about what that direct heat may be doing to our little boys.

If your little guy is going to use a laptop or iPad or other heat producing tech gadget it may be good to consider the following precautions:

1.      Get them in the habit of sitting at a desk when using a laptop (even though the name of the devise is laptop)

2.      Have them develop the habit of not placing these gadgets right on their laps

3.      Monitor their time spent on their laptop

4.      If they do want to sit with their laptop on their lap consider getting them a laptop chiller or some other device to keep the heat off of their body

5.      Ensure that they are eating a healthy diet of fruits and vegetables and getting in regular exercise every day

Eating a healthy diet is the one thing that we do know for sure will positively benefit both our sons and daughters. But until the evidence is clear, I will be making sure that my sons keep their laptops off their laps.

This article was also published on Lifetime Television’s The Balancing Act blog

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– by Mary Heston

For some of us a bit older we remember Jan’s mantra from the Brady Bunch “Marsha Marsha Marsha” everybody’s always talking about Marsha.

This last week it was facebook.  Everywhere you turn the talk is about facebook.

California wants to make a law about parental access to children’s facebook accounts
(editorial comment: this is ridiculous)

Then we learn there are over 7.5 million kids under the age of 13 on facebook

A 13 year old in Tacoma WA is questioned by the Secret Service about a status update

AND Police suggest Stealing your kids Facebook passwords

I happen to think the world is just possibly losing its collective mind!  This is ludicrous.  First of all we need to start handing parents a couple of cojones when it comes to technology and having them start parenting their child in their kids digital world as well as the physical world (barely any distinction for our kids any more).  

Parents: 

    •  Be Strong. 
    • Keep your kids off of facebook until they are 13.  That is the facebook terms of service and the guideline is there for a reason.  There are alternatives out there.  Be proactive and help your kids use the Internet appropriately.
    • As long as they are living in your house and are under the age of 18 – they share their password with you and only you. 
    • Help guide them in their social networking.  Work through it together. 
    • Don’t keep them from social networking sites – this is their world now – help them embrace it.  If you forbid them from having a site that will be all the more enticement for them to go out and create their own site without your input or information.

 


You don’t hand your child the keys to the car until they have taken driver’s ed.  Social Networking can bean even more powerful tool – make sure they get the training before they go out on the roads by themselves at 1am in the morning.  A good way to do this is to get them involved in theTeenangel program 

If you are still worried after they have set up their site there is a new product that was just released this week that you may want to check out.  Visit MinorMonitor to find out more about ways to receive alerts about your childs online presence.

My daughter has been on Twitter for a year and a half and has at times complained about the fact that none of her other young friends in real life are on Twitter.  But she told me recently that alot of kids she knows are now getting on Twitter because their parents got on them about their facebook accounts.  She said she was sort of amazed how many parents don’t even know their kids are on these various sites and that if the parents do find out about them and tell the kids to close it down the kid just goes to a different platform with a different name.  

We need to have a more open and honest conversation with our kids about their life online.  In the 90’s we heard about the helicopter parents that absoultely hovered over their kids’ every move.  Perhaps the second decade of the millenium parents will become known as the Ostrich parents.  Time for us to get our heads out of the sand and take a look around.  Our kids ARE online.  Let’s join them!

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Filed under Distracted Driving, facebook, Internet Safety, Mobile, Social Networking, Twitter, wiredmoms

Kids need their sleep

Mary Heston adds her thoughts to the National Sleep Foundation’s recent findings on sleep deprivation.

Read the Article HERE

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