Screen-Free Week (May 2-8, 2016)


screen free week
This week we are setting out to make a change in the amount of screen time that we use each day, especially those of you with kids. It’s not practical that we say no screen time and staying “screen-free”, as many of us work on computers, but what about changing the nightly routine at home?
According to the Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF):
    • two-thirds of infants and toddlers watch a screen an average of 2 hours a day
    • kids under age 6 watch an average of about 2 hours of screen media a day, primarily TV and videos or DVDs
  • kids and teens 8 to 18 years spend nearly 4 hours a day in front of a TV screen and almost 2 additional hours on the computer (outside of schoolwork) and playing video games
As kids get older, too much screen time can interfere with being physically active, reading, doing homework, playing with friends, and spending time with family. So what about some practical ways to decrease TV time in your house? Try to limit the number of TV-watching hours by:
      • Making sure you have plenty of other non-screen entertainment (books, kids’ magazines, toys, etc.) in your TV room to encourage kids to do something other than watch the TV
      • Keep TVs and computers out of bedrooms
      • Turn the TV off during meals and focus on conversation
      • Play a board game, work on crafts, or listen and dance to music
    • Encouraged your family to become active in the evening to ensure everyone is getting there exercise in for the day (bike ride, shooting hoops, nightly walk, etc.)
We also recommend that you limit screen time as excessive TV viewing, is directly associated with increased overweight and obesity. TIP: Avoid eating while watching television, as many people tend to eat mindlessly while distracted by TV or computers.
At the end of the day we as parents determine what and how much our kids watch TV and to teach kids that it’s for occasional entertainment, not for constant distraction. So this week challenge your family to be Screen Free!

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