21 January 2020

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NEWS DESK

Recognising the value of wetlands Optometrist urges less screen time

Keith Platt keith@baysidenews.com.au SWAMPS and low-lying areas were once seen as a blot on the landscape, fit only to be drained. But the ecological importance of wetlands is well documented and has been recognised for decades, so much so that there is an annual World Wetlands Day. The day has been held since 1977 and marks the date of the adoption of the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands on 2 February 1971. Activities based around the importance of wetlands are being held on Sunday 2 February at Boneo Park, on the Mornington Peninsula and the Edithvale-Seaford Wetlands. The activities at Boneo (312 Boneo Road) have been organised by Western Port Biosphere, Bunurong Land Council, Birdlife Mornington Peninsula, Melbourne Water, Mornington Peninsula Shire, Trust for Nature and Mornington Peninsula Landcare Network. Each of the organisations will have marquees with information and activities happening from 7am to 2pm, including walks, talks and other activities. Bookings: worldwetlandsday.eventbrite.com.au The Friends of Edithvale-Seaford Wetlands group will hold activities and displays at the bird hide in Edithvale Road, Edithvale from 1pm to 4pm while Melbourne Water will run activities at its nearby education centre. A “kangaroo walk” around Edithvale south, which is not usually open to the public, starts at 1.30pm. “From unwanted, smelly, plaguey, pestilent places, good only for draining, to valued, respected and useful places – swamps and wetlands have transitioned over the past 50 years,” Robin Clarey, the group’s vice-president said.

Picture: Gary Sissons “Their place on the environmental stage and their importance has now been truly recognised and understood.”

Ms Clarey said World Wetlands Day helped raise awareness about the value of wetlands “for humanity and the planet”.

A FRANKSTON optometrist says that it is important that children spend more time away from screens to help improve eye health. A study released late last year, the YouGov Galaxy Kids Eye Health Study prepared for Specsavers, was conducted between over 1000 Australian parents with children under 18. The study revealed that children spend an average of two and a half hours on screens each day, with 15 per cent spending longer than four hours. Specsavers Frankston optometrist Yi Yang said “I understand how strong the pull of digital screens is for children and I also know that the way children learn and play is drastically changing as technology becomes increasingly incorporated into everyday life.” “It’s no surprise that 90 per cent of Victorian parents say digital screen time is top of the list for their children’s health concerns. But what is surprising for many is that when it comes to eye health, the biggest problem with screen time is nothing to do with the actual screens. It’s simply the fact that normally when kids are on screens like phones and computers, there is a lot of near vision work that is often indoors without natural light. That’s the part that’s bad for your eyes,” he said. “Staring at screens and being indoors for extended periods of time can increase the risk of myopia or becoming short-sighted. This means the eyes focus well only on close objects, while more distant objects appear blurred. Children are more at risk of this, as their eyes are still developing. “The biggest message I would like to get across to parents is to make sure their children spend time outside playing and if parents are worried about the impacts of screen time on their child’s eye health, the best thing to do is to book in to see an optometrist for an eye test. The school holidays are the perfect opportunity to encourage healthy eye habits.”

RETIREMENT VILLAGE

L A E P P A E R I F H S BU

R E S I A R FUND

11AM – 3PM

Saturday 1st February 2020

MARKET DAY

Greenways is holding a sausage sizzle and a variety of market stalls, plus secondhand goods. All funds raised go to the Bushfire Appeal. Afternoon tea provided. Everyone welcome.

www.greenwaysvillage.com.au

330 Frankston Dandenong Rd, Seaford, Vic. 3198 Frankston Times

21 January 2020

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