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Eye care experts urge parents to leave fireworks to pros

Eye care experts urge parents to leave fireworks to pros

ATLANTA -- Thousands of Georgia parents are buying sparklers for their children this Fourth of July, thinking they are a safe way to celebrate. But, as a Georgia eye expert warns, sparklers heat up to 1,800 degrees Fahrenheit -- hot enough to melt some metals -- and are the number one cause of fireworks injuries requiring trips to the emergency room.

Members of the Georgia Optometric Association are urging parents to leave all the fireworks to the professionals and avoid fireworks that may cause serious eye injuries when used inappropriately. Some of the most common fireworks injuries are eye abrasions, lacerations, contusions and foreign matter in the eye. The majority of these cases are related to the use of sparklers.

Kroger raises $232K for Children's Miracle Network

Kroger raises $232K for Children's Miracle Network

(WXIA) -- Kroger customers in metro Atlanta recently showed that they are a charitable bunch.

During the final two weeks in May, shoppers raised $232,000 for the Children's Miracle Network through the Miracle Balloons promotion.

For only $1, a customer could purchase a paper balloon to hang in a local Kroger. All proceeds from the fundraiser went directly to Children's Miracle Network hospitals and health networks, such as Children's Hospital of Georgia in Augusta and Children's Healthcare of Atlanta.

"Kroger customers consistently show their care for our communities by constantly going above and beyond with their charitable donations," Glynn Jenkins, spokesperson for Kroger's Atlanta division, said in a release. "Through their support of the Miracle Balloons program, we can continue to make a difference in the lives of children."

Panera swears off artificial ingredients

Panera swears off artificial ingredients

NEW YORK -- Panera says it will remove artificial colors, flavors, sweeteners and preservatives from its food by 2016, a reflection of the growing distaste people are showing for such ingredients.

The chain of bakery cafes, which has about 1,800 U.S. locations, is making the pledge as part of a "Food Policy" it is unveiling Tuesday that outlines its commitment to "clean" and "simple" ingredients.

The announcement comes at a time when Panera Bread Co. is facing slowing sales growth and working to jumpstart its business.

It also underscores how positioning foods as natural has become a marketing advantage, regardless of whether it brings any nutritional benefits.

Don’t let pool chemicals ruin summer swims

Don’t let pool chemicals ruin summer swims

ATLANTA -- School is out and neighborhoods all across Georgia are opening their swimming pools for the season. To protect consumers, eye care experts are asking swimmers to be aware that an imbalance of chemicals in the water may put their vision and eye health at risk.

The Georgia Optometric Association is urging people to take simple steps that will protect the health of their eyes and help them avoid problems such as chemical conjunctivitis and chemical keratitis.

UGA's Obamacare navigator program lays low after protests

UGA's Obamacare navigator program lays low after protests

ATHENS, Ga. -- The University of Georgia health navigator program has been keeping a low profile since opponents of the Affordable Care Act staged a protest at a Coweta County navigator event in November.

Sheri Worthy, head of UGA's Department of Financial Planning, Housing and Consumer Economics, told Georgia Health News the Coweta meeting and those scheduled after that were canceled because Americans for Prosperity, a conservative group that opposes the ACA, posted the navigators' events on its website and encouraged protests at them.

COMPLETE COVERAGE | Affordable Care Act

IHOP offering free pancakes for charitable donations

IHOP offering free pancakes for charitable donations

(WXIA) -- IHOP will once again participate in the National Pancake Day promotion on Tuesday, Mar. 4.

Customers who visit any IHOP location on National Pancake Day will be treated to a free short stack of buttermilk pancakes. In exchange, the restaurant chain encourages diners to leave a donation for a number of charities, namely the Children's Miracle Network Hospitals.

Beginning this Saturday, Feb. 1, IHOP will collect donations for Children's Miracle Network Hospitals. Customers can buy paper balloons that cost either $1 or $5. The balloons will hang in IHOP restaurants through National Pancake Day.

Anyone who purchases a $5 balloon will receive a $5 IHOP coupon to use on a future visit.

Learn more about the promotion at ihoppancakeday.com.

Regents to discuss smoking ban at Ga. colleges

Regents to discuss smoking ban at Ga. colleges

ATHENS, Ga. -- The board that governs Georgia's public colleges and universities is taking a close look at banning tobacco from campuses statewide.

The Board of Regents is scheduled to discuss the proposed tobacco ban at its meeting Wednesday in Atlanta. The ban would prohibit faculty, students, staff and even spectators at sporting events from smoking or using smokeless tobacco in both indoor and outdoor parts of college campuses.

The policy would tighten anti-smoking policies at campuses such as the University of Georgia, which since 2011 has prohibited lighting up within 35 feet of building entrances.

If adopted by the Board of Regents, the tobacco ban would affect all 31 campuses in the University System of Georgia.