Lockdown screen time sees rise in short-sightedness among children

  • Optometrists across the UK have been diagnosing higher numbers of children with short-sightedness (myopia) since the start of the pandemic.
  • Screen time during lockdown has been suggested as a possible cause due to more time spent on screens, and a drop-off in numbers of eye tests carried out during the pandemic.
  • The College of Optometrists is calling for more time spent outside and for parents to take their children for eye tests to help prevent the development of myopia.
  • For tips on how to develop healthy habits on screen time, check out our blog post, here.
  • Full story, here.

PayPal to let UK users buy, hold and sell cryptocurrencies

  • Online payment company PayPal is to allow users in the UK to buy, hold and sell cryptocurrencies using its platform this week.
  • The service will be available on its app and website, with four cryptocurrencies initially supported: Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin and Bitcoin Cash.
  • This comes after the same service launched in the US which was followed by a ‘Checkout with Crypto’ feature enabling users to make purchases with online merchants using cryptocurrency.
  • Critics of cryptocurrency have flagged its potential anonymity as a risk for its potential use in cybercrime, trafficking and fraudulent schemes online.
  • Full story, here.

CO2 monitors pledged to aid school ventilation

  • Around 300,000 carbon dioxide monitors are to be made available to schools in England.
  • These will be put into place next term to help improve ventilation and lessen Covid outbreaks.
  • The Department for Education (DfE) suggests that portable monitors could be used to identify areas where more airflow is needed.
  • Most safety restrictions have been relaxed in England’s schools, including masks, bubbles and social distancing but teaching unions have been pushing for extra ventilation measures.
  • This follows recent calls for better air filtering in schools to protect children and an air purifier trial in Bradford
  • Full story, here.

NI schools can continue to teach in class bubbles

  • Schools in Northern Ireland can continue to teach some children in class bubbles when the new term begins.
  • The executive decided on the 12th of August that schools no longer had to teach children in bubbles, the new Department of Education (DENI) guidance says that schools can maintain the use or partial use of bubbles.
  • This aims to give schools flexibility in determining how to adapt their school environment accordingly.
  • Schools have also been told to space seating in classes as widely as possible and have children seated facing the front of the classroom.
  • Full story, here.