As the Halloween season approaches, it is important to keep in mind an issue that can easily get lost in the craze of creepy costumes: eye safety. Colored or decorative noncorrective contact lenses have become a popular element of Halloween costumes. While these devices can add a fun flourish to a costume, they can also result in severe eye injury if used without the appropriate guidance of a qualified eye-care professional.
The lenses, which offer no visual correction, are sometimes being illegally sold by people who are not eye-care professionals at corner stores, costume shops, beauty shops, and video outlets without an appropriate prescription and fitting. Children and teens are able to purchase them without the benefit of being fitted by an eye-care professional, and without learning how to properly care for these medical devices. As a result, children can suffer from devastating eye infections, scarring, and even blindness.
To address this issue, Prevent Blindness America worked with the American Academy of Ophthalmology, the American Optometric Association, the Vision Council of America, and the Congressional Vision Caucus to enact legislation to improve cosmetic contact lens safety.
Prevent Blindness America would like to remind trick-or-treaters to take care of their eyes. We also applaud our allies in Congress, including the Ohio members of the Congressional Vision Caucus, who are such strong supporters of legislative efforts to improve vision health.
Sherill K. Williams
President & CEO
Prevent Blindness Ohio
Physical activity is good for your health
As a member of the American College of Sports Medicine, I am committed to the belief that research in sports medicine can effectively contribute to health and wellness for all people.
This is evident in the updated physical-activity recommendations published by ACSM, in conjunction with the American Heart Association. More than 10 years of research has contributed to the update of the guidelines. These updated guidelines explicitly state what all healthy adults and older adults should do to maintain their health, and in turn, their quality of life.
ACSM and AHA recommend that all healthy adults ages 18 to 65 do moderately intense physical activity for at least 30 minutes, at least five days per week (or vigorous activity three days per week), in addition to strength training twice per week. A simple half-hour of physical activity can do wonders for the body and help keep diabetes, heart disease, and stroke at bay.
In addition, ACSM and AHA have released guidelines for adults over age 65, or adults over age 50 with conditions such as arthritis. Exercise for older adults not only helps prevent many of the diseases prevalent in later years, but also helps older adults perform tasks that are a part of everyday life. After all, life is much less enjoyable without the ability to garden, pick up the grandchildren, or cook a great meal.
I encourage your readers to take the ACSM and AHA guidelines to heart and make physical activity a part of their daily lives. Increase your overall physical activity by simply going for a walk with your spouse, your kids, or a friend. ACSM gives more detail on these guidelines and provides informative resources for starting an exercise program on its Web site: www.acsm.org.
Dalynn T. Badenhop
Director, Cardiac Rehabilitation
University of Toledo
Global warming is a wealth-transfer hoax
As if the Nobel Peace prize had any credibility, last week it was given with much fanfare to Al Gore for his work on global warming.
Had anyone predicted in 1970 when this global warming issue had its roots that they would get as many people as they have buying into the nonsense that we had some control over the warming and cooling of the Earth, most people would have called it preposterous!
When will the people wake up to the fact that global warming is simply the best hoax to transfer wealth since the income tax? How many more pathetic politicians like Rep. John Dingell will come out of the woodwork calling for carbon taxes on anything with a heartbeat? How many more U.N. bureaucrats will want to pick our pockets?
H.L. Mencken had it exactly right when he said, "The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary."
UAW's recent strikes deserve applause
The Toledo media and especially The Blade have taken great pains to paint a negative picture of the UAW and unions in general in the wake of the recent strikes at General Motors and Chrysler.
The portrayal that these strikes are discouraging businesses from locating here is very short-sighted. As of 2001 only 13.5 percent of the total work force in this country was unionized. If you exclude government-sector workers, that figure is much lower. Toledo is no different. So how then can it be that businesses are reluctant to expand or relocate to this city because of unions? The recent strike at General Motors and Chrysler also affected plants in the southern states, where it is perceived that the unions are not a problem or don't exist. As a matter of fact, the industrial boom in this area was happening at a time when unions were growing and a lot more militant than today.
The thing that never is mentioned is the other cost of doing business in this area, such as old infrastructures and the cost of utilities. The monthly cost of heating an auto-assembly plant in this area is astronomical. That is an instant advantage that southern states have over the northern or midwestern states.
My fellow union brothers and sisters at General Motors and Chrysler should be applauded for their recent actions. After all, we, as union members, do realize that you cannot cut off the hand that feeds you but there is a limit as to how much you can give.
Fine illegal users of handicap spaces
The Oct. 14 editorial "Inside the blue lines" is right on target when it comes to people illegally using the few handicapped spots available. While the whistleblower Web site is a good idea, it probably will not work that well because it is not going to change these people's thoughts toward these spots. Typically people need to see monetary damage before they will change their ways. That is why all 50 states need to take a stand to raise and enforce the fines for illegal use of the handicap spaces.
Law enforcement should take these offenses seriously because many people are in serious need of these spaces. They do not have the handicap tags for no reason. If the proper tags are displayed, then the person obviously has the tag for a reason but when a person uses these spaces for convenience, they should be punished. Obviously these people do not have handicapped or disabled family members because they would realize what problems they are causing for people who need them.
Nice dogs are dying in pounds here too
Thanks so much for the wonderful story in the Oct. 14 Blade about the rescue of Georgia pound dogs. For those of us who dedicate our lives to trying to save some of society's throwaway pets, anything that focuses attention on their plight is appreciated.
Please do not, however, leave your readers with the impression there is any kind of "dog shortage" in northwest Ohio, or that the only dogs that are euthanized in pounds right here are old or large black mixed breed dogs. We all agree "a life is a life" and no dog anywhere deserves to die unwanted but, sadly enough, nice dogs just like those lucky dogs from Georgia do die in pounds in our own backyard. There are never enough resources to begin to save them all.
Al Gore has won an Oscar, an Emmy, and the Nobel Peace Prize this year. What are they going to give him next, the Heisman Trophy?