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Toddlers OK'd to video-chat in new recommendations from pediatricians

The American Academy of Pediatrics on Friday announced updated recommendations for parents hoping to shield their children from the worst effects of new technologies.

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The group released its recommendations after reviewing the latest scientific evidence on children and digital media use. Among other suggestions, the AAP said toddlers should be limited to using screens only while video-chatting.

The organization has traditionally recommended toddlers stay away from using screens at all until they become 2 years old. The guideline was first set out in 1999, according to NPR.

Studies indicate that despite the 1999 recommendation, most families operate under the assumption that applications like Skype and FaceTime “don't count.”

In a policy statement, AAP cautiously agreed and cited emerging evidence that young children can learn some words while video-chatting “with a responsive adult.”

The organization warned, however, that scientific evidence shows there is still harm caused by “excessive digital media use.”

"What's most important is that parents be their child's 'media mentor,'” Dr. Jenny Radesky, lead author of the policy statement, said in a news release. “That means teaching them how to use it as a tool to create, connect and learn."

The following recommendations were made by AAP:

For children younger than 18 months, avoid use of screen media other than video-chatting. Parents of children 18 to 24 months of age who want to introduce digital media should choose high-quality programming, and watch it with their children to help them understand what they're seeing. For children ages 2 to 5 years, limit screen use to 1 hour per day of high-quality programs. Parents should co-view media with children to help them understand what they are seeing and apply it to the world around them. For children ages 6 and older, place consistent limits on the time spent using media, and the types of media, and make sure media does not take the place of adequate sleep, physical activity and other behaviors essential to health.

To support the recommendations, the group also launched an online digital media use planning tool on its website.

Photos: Netherworld behind the scenes

This Is the Year You Actually Make Mulled Wine

Raise your hand if mulled wine falls into the category of “things I bookmark every time it gets chilly, and then promptly forget about until April,” along with roasted pumpkin seeds and homemade apple butter. We’ve all been there. But then we actually made mulled wine and realized it’s stupid-easy. You’ve got to try it. Whether you’re a fan of white or red, or are looking for something a little stronger than just warm vino, we’ll show you how it’s done. Method 1: Stovetop Stovetop mulled wine is way too simple. Just dump a bottle into a stockpot, add apple cider and a few spices, then crank that heat. You’re 15 minutes away from a steaming drink, and your kitchen will smell great. Stovetop Mulled Wine Photo: How Sweet Eats Method 2: Slow Cooker No stove? Plug in that slow-cooker! This low-and-slow drink may cook for a few hours, but that only allows the spices to steep longer. Pour a glass, and you won’t taste wine, but something way more cozy. Use caution: This version is extremely addictive. Slow Cooker Mulled Wine Photo: Kitchen Treaty Try It With White Wine Classic mulled wine is typically red, but there’s no rule that says you can’t use white. A dry blend complements the sweet and spicy additions to the mulling pot. Mulled White Wine Photo: Gimme Some Oven Try It Spiked A few glugs of brandy is typical in mulled wine, but why not get creative? White rum, vodka, and cognac make your wine even more grown-up, without overpowering the spice blend. Rum-Spiked Mulled Wine Photo: Well Plated Try Messing With the Classic Those who like to go above and beyond should get more inventive with their warm wine. Add fresh fruit juices to the pot (orange, pear, or pomegranate) for a tart zip, or go completely off the wall and try mulled wine hot cocoa. For those who don’t want to drink, or are serving drinks to kids, try mulled juice… it’s way better than you’d think. Red Wine Hot Chocolate Photo: Imma Eat That Pomegranate Mulled Wine Photo: The Jewels of NY Mulled Juice Photo: Wallflower Kitchen

Elementary school cancels Halloween

Halloween costumes will have to stay packed away for elementary school students in one Connecticut town, at least until the big night. 

In a letter sent to parents this week, the principal of Lillie B. Haynes Elementary School in Niantic, Connecticut, informed parents that the school has eliminated the annual Halloween parade and costumes in school, WTIC reported.

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The letter from Melissa DeLoreto said that officials made the decision was made so students didn't feel excluded and to make sure students stay safe, specifically when adults come to the parade dressed in costumes also.

Classroom parties will still happen but will not be Halloween themed and instead, will have a fall feel.

One parent told WTIC that the cancelation is "killing kids' fun."

9 Indian Recipes for Anyone Who’s Been Too Intimidated to Try Before

If you think Indian food is too tricky to make at home, think again. This week's featured foodie is Richa Gupta of My Food Story. She makes easy and healthy Indian dishes that are just as fun to cook as they are to eat. Don't live near an Indian market? Don't freak out! Just run to any regular grocery store and head down the international aisle. And if you think we're about to just show you a bunch of curry recipes, brace yourself... 1. Quinoa and Apple Pudding (Kheer) How many times have you made the same boring bowl of oatmeal for breakfast? It ends now! This fiber-rich porridge is a traditional Indian dessert, but we think it makes a killer breakfast too. Swap the sugar for honey, syrup, or coconut sugar (or omit altogether) and serve chilled, with plenty of chopped pistachios. 2. Golden Turmeric Milk Golden milk isn’t a new trend peddled by vegan food bloggers; it’s actually an Ayurvedic Indian drink that serves as an immunity booster for colds, headaches, and joint pain. Plus, that spicy-sweet flavor is way, way better than tangerine Emergen-C. 3. Masala Roast Chicken Roast chicken is a dinner staple, but even classics can get a little boring. The best way to jazz up the bird is to coat it with a thick layer of chile paste made from spices, honey, and a bit of butter. Roast with onions, lemon, garlic, and potatoes underneath; add some carrots or sweet potato; and this is the one-pan dinner of our dreams. 4. Whole Baked Cauliflower Want to make a showstopping main dish, but need to keep things meatless? Roast a whole head of cauliflower. Note: This recipe calls to rub the cauliflower with “hung curd,” which is essentially strained yogurt. If you don’t have time to strain, Greek yogurt should get the job done! Fill the rest of the roasting dish with potatoes and onions, and serve with naan and greens. 5. Peas, Potato, and Paneer Patties (Tiki) Instead of slapping together a bunch of burgers, try a batch of tiki. These pea and potato patties bind together with a bit of oat flour, and protein-rich paneer (or cottage cheese!) keeps them moist. Serve with any store-bought tamarind-based sauce, or make a lime and brown sugar sauce yourself. 6. Mango and Turmeric Brown Rice You need to get on the seasoned rice-wave. Sauté onions and mango with chiles and a hefty pour of Indian spices to dye cooked brown rice an awesome shade of gold. Serve this dish with leftover tofu or chicken, and a pile of greens on the side. 7. Baked Onion Fritters (Pakodas) Onion ring fans, listen up: This crispy fritters taste like the real deal, yet instead of a trip in fry-oil, they’re oven-baked and gluten-free to boot. Use a spiralizer to get the onions noodle-thin, but slicing them works just fine too. Eat immediately to avoid sogginess, but that doesn’t sound like a tough job to us. 8. Bombay Potatoes (Chatpate Masala Aloo) Why don’t we all eat simple spice-dusted roasted potatoes for every meal? They go just as wonderfully with eggs as they do dinner proteins. So if you’ll excuse us, we’re about to make a massive batch. 9. Crunchy Roasted Masala Chickpeas We’re all about crunchy, salty snacks, so trust us when we say that these roasted chickpeas are officially added to our rotation. Make your first batch with the paprika, cumin, garlic, and garam masala spice mix, the mix it up with honey and mustard, or za’atar and chile powder—even cinnamon and sugar. Richa runs her blog, My Food Story, from her kitchen in Bangalore. She is a compulsive snacker who loves curry and can't live without breakfast! Her aim is to get people to choose cooking at home over takeout, and she likes to keep her recipes fun, easy, and mostly healthy. For more from Richa, follow her on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.

The 7-Minute High-Intensity Workout for Stronger Legs

Shake up your usual lower-body workout with a quick but high-intensity routine. Because let's be real: Leg day is brutal, so you might as well get it done as fast as humanly possible. You'll thank us later. This workout will strengthen your calves, inner and outer thighs, hamstrings, and glutes, which is essential for preventing ankle, knee, and hip injuries. You'll push yourself as hard as possible for 30 seconds then take a 10-second recovery. Make sure you do a quick warm-up before and a cool-down after this routine. It's going to be hard, but it's going to be fun. And trainers Pace and Go show you how much fun it is to do with a friend. All you need is an exercise mat to get started. To recap: Do a quick warm-up before and a cool-down after this workout. Perform each exercise for 30 seconds with 10 seconds of rest. Workout: Sumo Squat, Rotate Left Lunge, Squat, Rotate Right Lunge 180-degree Jump Rotation, Lunge Pulse Hip Bridge, Adductor Squeeze, Leg Extension Narrow Squat, Low Alternating Straight Leg Lunge Lateral Lunge With Knee Lift Toe Touch Jumping Star Fish, Calf Bounce Hamstring Single Deadlift, Knee Drive Curtsy Skater Lunge Suitcase Square Single Leg Squat Inverted Hamstring Kick Round the Clock Lunge Round the Clock Lunge Burpee, Alternating Forward Lunge Looking for more short and effective at-home workouts? Grokker has thousands of routines, so you’ll never get bored. Bonus: For a limited time, Greatist readers get 40 percent off Grokker Premium (just $9 per month) and their first 14 days free. Sign up now!

Go behind the scenes at Netherworld, 1 of America's top haunts

Chainsaws, soul eaters, toxic foam -- it's just another October night at one of the country's top haunted attractions, Netherworld in Norcross.

This year marks the 20th year of haunts, terrifying screams and fear at Netherworld.

"We have so much crazy new stuff," co-owner and creator Ben Armstrong said. "We've got these creatures called soul eaters. They are these bizarre monstrosities.They're all over the place. They're upstairs in 'Monsters.' And downstairs, in 'Meltdown,' it's a nuclear meltdown. There's missiles. There's a reactor. There's mutants. It's absolutely insane."

Netherworld features two haunts. There's "Monsters" upstairs and "Vault 13 Meltdown" downstairs.

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In "Monsters," there's an invasion of horrific aliens released from the unknown. They threaten our world and only the return of ancient creatures from Netherworld’s past can defeat them. It has been 20 years since Dr. Colber opened the doorway to Netherworld and now the invasion of our planet reaches a fevered pitch in an epic war of the monsters. Experience the Flying Angel, the Lair of The Sea Witch, the Feasting Vampires and an army of hideous Soul Eaters in "Monsters."

Descend into Netherworld’s dark basement to a secret government facility filled with unnameable horrors in "Vault 13 Meltdown!" During the events of last year’s "Vault 13 Unearthed," the mad artificial intelligence Proteus seized control of Vault 13 and used its resources to capture his creator, the Mangler. Proteus now demands that the Mangler create him a “bride” or the world will be destroyed with the massive nuclear arsenal of Vault 13. Can the chaos be stopped or will mutations, aliens, robots and nuclear destruction be unleashed on an unsuspecting planet, slaughtering millions? Vault 13 includes the Xenomorphic Terror, the Collapsing Missile, the Blast Off Inferno, the return of the Toxic Foam Room and more.

"You can't describe it," visitor Austin Kunis said. "It's like you're in a movie. It's like everything is around you. You look up and there's something. You look down and there's something. It's all around you."

A number of fan favorites from the past 19 haunts are back this year. Armstrong and co-owner and creator Billy Messina have resurrected legendary characters such as the Collector, the Harvestman and the Boogeyman.

Netherworld Haunted House has been rated one of the top high-tech haunts in America and noted for having one of the best haunted house casts by Hauntworld.com. USA Today Reader’s Poll named Netherworld as one of America’s best haunted attractions.

It's open every night through Halloween and select nights in November.

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