Have you had the TV off and the video games packed away this week?
Preschoolers in the US spend an average of 32 hours a week in front of a screen and older children spend even more time. Screen-Free Week provides an opportunity to unplug the whole family from smartphones, computers, the television, and video games to re-discover all sorts of activities that are integral to health and happiness.
From playing a sport, going to the park, reading a book, to playing a board game as a family, screen-free activities are healthy for both your body and mind, say Screen Free Week organizers. Committing to a week without screens can be a spring-board for positive changes that will improve well-being and quality of life all year round.
The American Academy of Pediatrics, The White House Task Force on Childhood Obesity, and others recommend discouraging any screen time for children under the age of two, and less than two hours a day for older children.
FACTS ABOUT CHILDREN AND SCREEN TIME
“The amount of time children spend in front of a screen directly competes with active play, which is proven to develop a child’s overall physical, creative and social skills. Kids need time to play every day, in their homes, schools and neighbourhoods.” says Stephanie Bowen, Director of KaBOOM!, a US non-profit committed to building playgrounds in every neighbourhood. “Screen Free Week reminds us—adults and children alike—to reclaim that time and go outside and play.”
To inspire ideas for activities that do not include a screen, the organizers of the week, the Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood (CFCC) have provided easy-to-follow guides for families, schools, and communities to organize a full program of activities to celebrate the week. Resources include: “Family Meals: Let’s Bring them Back” and a “Screen-Free Week Pledge Card” for kids to sign.
Supporters for Screen-Free Week include public health officials, nutritionists, doctors, schools, community groups and parents who want to promote living life beyond your screen.
“Such wide-ranging support for Screen-Free Week reflects the growing consensus that kids spend too much time with television, video games, apps, and computers,” said Dr. Susan Linn, director of the Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood. “More screen time means less time for hands-on play, reading, playing outside, exploring nature and dreaming—activities crucial to a healthy, happy childhood.”
Find more: http://www.screenfree.org