VISION DISORDERS ARE the most prevalent disabling childhood conditions in the
U.S., according to the National Centers for
Disease Control and Prevention. Prevent
Blindness, which promotes eye health,
encourages parents to get children’s eyes
checked as part of their back-to-school
Many children may not know that they
have a vision problem, thinking that how
they see is how everyone else sees. Periodic
vision screenings and eye exams are important for school-age children, as visual disorders may emerge for the first time during
An eye exam is the ideal way for parents to know if their child has a vision problem, including the following.
• Amblyopia, also called lazy eye, is loss
of vision in one or both eyes because of an
uncorrected vision problem, including strabismus (crossed eye), a drooping eyelid or
uncorrected problems with visual acuity.
These issues must be addressed during a
child’s early years for best visual acuity.
• Astigmatism may result when the
front of the cornea has an irregular shape,
blurring vision at all distances.
• Color blindness does not mean that
children are really blind to color, but that
they have trouble identifying certain colors.
• Farsightedness (hyperopia) is a condition in which images of near objects
• Nearsightedness (myopia) is a condition in which images of distant objects
• Strabismus is a term for eyes that are
not straight or do not line up with each other.
If not treated, it can become amblyopia.
Prevent Blindness wants parents to
learn ways to help protect their child’s
vision. Visit preventblindness.org to find
family-friendly resources.—David Wight
By Kristen Fischer
THAT HONEY CONTAINER in your pantry
has a few sweet secrets. Kerri Walsh Jennings,
a three-time Olympic gold medalist in beach
volleyball, recently uncovered a few of them.
When she was feeling a little run-down
before the London Games in 2012, her sports
psychologist suggested that she use honey as
an energy booster. The California-based
Costco member says eating honey daily has
been a life changer.
Honey is an excellent source of all-natural
energy at just 17 grams of carbohydrates per
tablespoon. This natural unprocessed sugar—
fructose and glucose—directly enters the
bloodstream and can deliver a quick punch of
energy. The rise in blood sugar acts as a short-term energy source for workouts, especially in
longer endurance exercises. (People with
blood-sugar issues should consult their doctor before adding honey to their diet.)
“It took on a whole new meaning to me,”
says Walsh Jennings, 35, now a spokesperson
for the National Honey Board (NHB; honey.
com). She currently is competing on the
Association of Volleyball Professionals tour
and has her eyes on another Olympic gold
medal in Rio next August. Since teaming up
with the NHB, she’s learned some new ways
to use honey.
A sweet, natural remedy
A tablespoon of raw honey contains 64
calories and is fat-free, cholesterol-free and
sodium-free, says the NHB. Its composition
is roughly 80 percent carbohydrates, 18 percent water and 2 percent vitamins, minerals
and amino acids. Honey has been utilized for
its medicinal properties for more than 2,000
years and continues its legacy as a multipurpose health aid.
At home, Walsh Jennings uses honey to
soothe sore throats and spreads it on bread
after mixing it with raw almond butter as part
of a staple meal for her family. She frequently
uses honey, which has antioxidant properties,
in cooking and baking, too.
Because Walsh Jennings is often in the
sun, honey is also her go-to skin moisturizer.
It can be used as a lip balm or, together with
oatmeal, as a facial mask.
“[I’ve been] pleasantly surprised by how
versatile it is,” says Walsh Jennings. “I think
when people start remembering that, it’s going
to be considered, like, the new superfood.”
Honey as a germ fighter
Honey is a natural antibiotic that can act
both internally and externally. It can be used
as a conventional disinfectant treatment for
wounds, sores and burns thanks to its antibacterial activity in fighting major species of
bacteria such as methicillin-resistant
Staphylococcus aureus. A 2005 study published in the
British Journal of Surgery found that all but
one of the patients in the study who suffered
from wounds and leg ulcers showed remarkable improvement after applying a topical
application of honey.
In 2011, researchers from the University
of Wales Institute, Cardiff found that manuka
honey—a medicinal variety from Australia
and New Zealand that’s sold online—can kill
bacteria in wounds.
Susan M. Meschwitz, an assistant professor at Salve Regina University in Newport,
Rhode Island, says there has not been a lot of
research to see if ingesting honey can prevent
bacterial infections and antibiotic resistance,
but that could be around the corner.
She has been studying how honey disrupts the process of how bacteria communicate. Instead of killing bacteria like an
antibiotic, honey can change the way bacteria
converse and, therefore, spread. Meschwitz
says understanding this interaction could
shed new light on the global problem of antibiotic resistance. C
Kristen Fischer is a writer in New Jersey.
The Costco Connection
USDA Grade A Kirkland Signature™ Clover
Honey is available at all locations.
for your health
In our digital editions
Click here to watch a short PSA
about how important good vision
health is for education. (See page
13 for details.)
Safety Month Honey to your health M