What happens when school is out for the summer? Families are left to provide those extra meals for their children. The good news is there are many free or low-cost food sources for families across the Commonwealth.
Screen Time Safety
Technology is part of your children’s daily lives. From doing their homework on the computer, video-calling extended family, or watching their favorite shows, the average amount of time children ages eight to ten spend staring at a screen is approximately six hours per day, according to the CDC. During the Coronavirus Pandemic, balancing screen time as families were trying to find their new normal, being stuck at home with little choice of activities, and exhausted parents who needed a break was impossible. While many important activities such as doing homework may involve screen time, it is essential for children to spend time away from their screens whenever possible.
Excessive screen time, defined as more than two hours per day, has been linked to trouble sleeping, a higher risk of obesity, and even developmental delays among children.
The following tips can help you and your child find the right balance with screen time:
- Focus on active screen time. Active screen time involves activities such as talking to a loved one over a video call or completing homework online.
- Stay informed on what your child is viewing on all media platforms. Have them tell you what sites they are navigating to and what content they are watching.
- Install time restrictions on your devices if possible. 15-minute limits are optimal for young children.
- Minimize passive screen time. Passive screen time involves scrolling through social media content or watching a tv show that provides little educational value.
- Engage with technology as a family by watching content together and asking your child open-ended questions about the material to target their critical thinking and language skills.
- Explore fun activities that do not involve screen time.
Technology can be an excellent tool for children and will always play a role in their lives. However, it is important for families to help children maintain a healthy balance between screen time and other everyday activities. For more information on safe screen practices, click here.
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