According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, childhood obesity has more than doubled in children and quadrupled in adolescents in the past 30 years. Currently more than one third of children and adolescents are overweight or obese. We need to consider limited for TV and screen time for children.
Children watching television and engaging in other forms of screen time, like playing video games, using computers and using cell phones, are thought to be one of the main risk factors for childhood obesity.
Statistics on screen time for children
According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, the average 8- to 10-year-old spends nearly 8 hours a day with a variety of different media, and older children and teenagers spend over 11 hours per day.
It’s time to turn off these devices to protect the health of our kids.
Pay attention to screen time
First, parents need to pay close attention to the media consumption of their children. Instead of letting them go to their rooms and watch TV or use their phones and computers, pay attention to what they are doing and how much time they are using these devices. Plus, it might be a good idea not to put televisions and Internet-connected devices in a child’s bedroom in the first place.
Get kids more active
Turning those devices off alone might be a good start too. Instead, we should encourage our kids to be physically active. Children and teens should participate in at least 60 minutes of moderate intensity physical activity every day.
Activities as a family
Better yet, we can promote physical activities that can be done as a family. It might improve their health as well as the emotional and family wellbeing.
Instead of letting kids watch TV shows after school, go for bike rides together as a family. Rather than allowing kids to sit in their bedrooms and play video games or spend hours online, get everyone out of the house and go play at the park.
Last, remember that children imitate adults. We need to engage in regular physical activity as part of our own daily routines and encourage our children to join us.