Could You Go Screen Free?
May 2-8 is National Screen Free Week
Did you know that May 2–8 is National Screen Free Week? It is an annual event during which people around the world are encouraged to “unplug” from their TVs, computers and mobile devices, and spend that time doing something different.
The recommended amount of screen time for children is two hours or less a day, and none for children under the age of 2. In North Carolina, 38 percent of children under the age of 10 reach that two-hour limit and more than 24 percent of high school students spend more than three hours watching TV, according to EatSmartMoveMore.com. So, maybe you are thinking what is the big deal?
The big deal is that time in your day is limited and if more hours are dedicated to screen time, less time is dedicated to being physically active or getting involved in play. Studies are showing that the more TV or screen time a child has, the less physically active he or she is.
So with that, here are some tips to get your children unplugged and moving more:
- Set limits to the amount of screen time children are allowed to have.
- Set a good example, put down your phone and back away from the screen.
- Offer alternatives, such as going for a family walk or going to the park
- Get involved in activities outside of the home that don’t involve the screen.
- Don’t use screen time to reward or punish your child.
- Encourage screen-free bedrooms.
- Don’t use the screen as a babysitter, if you have to get something done, encourage your kids to read, color or play on their own.
- Note and track screen time for everyone in the family.
- Talk about the importance of limiting screen time.
- Make screen time active time. Move during commercials or when a certain character is on the screen.
Evie Houtz is the program specialist for Be Active Kids, will serve as the Fit Family Challenge spotlight families' fitness instructor.