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Limiting screen time

As a certified reading clinician and learning specialist, I greatly appreciate Bree Fowler's Dec. 26 article, Tots' tablet use concerns MDs.

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Reading clinicians echo their concerns. Overwhelming research evidence has linked length of screen time to weaker fine and gross motor skills, behaviour problems and delayed social and language development in older children. Screen time takes away from activities that promote brain development such as exercise, sleep, talking, reading and socializing.

There are some excellent educational apps, but they must be monitored and limited. No more than 30 to 60 minutes of screen time daily for most young children.

NORMA JONES

Winnipeg

Backstopping seniors

I do not believe Canada will be better off if we take over full responsibility for providing a comfortable retirement income for all Canadians. Rather our responsibility should be to ensure our retirees are not left below the poverty line through no fault of their own.

Just as we are all responsible to maintain employment to the best of our ability during our working years, so we are all responsible for ensuring our comfort in retirement. In retirement we must take care of those who, throughout their lives, have faced extraordinary challenges resulting in an inability to maintain gainful employment, but we should not assume the state will take care of everyone, regardless of their life experiences.

I believe nobody whose annual personal income is below the poverty line should be subject to income tax by either the federal or provincial governments, and that combined old age security and Canada Pension Plan benefits should provide for about 50 per cent of pre-retirement before tax income. We can ease the pressure, but it is not equitable to eliminate responsibility altogether.

HUGH MCMORROW

Winnipeg

Sounds like discrimination

While it may sound like a good idea to prevent students from switching schools to "pursue a provincial championship" (Crunch time for new school-switching rules, Dec. 21), it is an affront to the province's school-of-choice policy and should be firmly rejected by Education Minister James Allum.

Students, and their parents, choose their schools for a wide variety of reasons, which may or may not include the extra-curricular activities offered by that school. Preventing students from accessing any activity at the school they attend sounds like discrimination.

I have not heard of any discussion about preventing school-of-choice students from being a part of drama productions, student councils, social justice groups or any other school-based activity.

Students have a right to attend school and have an opportunity to take part in everything their school offers. Allum needs to make it clear to the Manitoba High Schools Athletic Association that students in all schools will be treated equally.

DAVID JUVONEN

Grand Marais

Broadly uninformed

Michael Dowling's Dec. 20 letter, A dubious practice, states that chiropractic makes claims that are not backed by science. As a chiropractor, I say this is a broadly uninformed statement that fails to consider the substantial body of evidence that supports the use of chiropractic care for musculoskeletal disorders, such as back pain, neck pain and headache.

Extensive collaborative research is being conducted at universities across Canada, including the University of Manitoba. University research chairs have been established by the Canadian Chiropractic Research Foundation, along with the Canadian Chiropractic Association and various provincial bodies.

Chiropractic research is being conducted in numerous academic fields such as biomechanics, neurophysiology, clinical sciences and epidemiology.

Chiropractic is a research-based profession that has been formally integrated into mainstream health care. To suggest the chiropractic profession is dubious or pseudoscientific is not congruent with the research literature.

DR. GEOFF GELLEY

Winnipeg

Enabling bad motorists

Re: In the driver's hot seat (Dec. 26). It should hardly come as a surprise to anyone that the numbers of "bad motorists" are growing.

In a city that has grown more and more dependent on photo radar, rather than police, to nab traffic violators, and in a province whose justices have become famous for handing out light sentences for just about anything, what did you expect?

"More" respect for the law?

AL YAKIMCHUK

Winnipeg

Selfless service

Re: Manitoba Hydro workers find it slow going in T.O. (Dec. 26). On behalf of all people in Ontario, I would very much like to thank the 42 Manitoba Hydro workers for their aid to our province.

TERRY SKINNER

Thunder Bay, Ont.

ñº

I would like to congratulate and thank these wonderful people who gave up their Christmas Day celebrations with their families to help others in need.

Thank you and congratulations on your generous deeds.

ED WUSCHKE

Pinawa

Meaning of Christmas

Thank you for featuring a beautiful photo of the true meaning of Christmas on the front page of your Dec. 24 edition.

ALMA BARKMAN

Winnipeg

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition December 28, 2013 A16

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