In its ongoing effort to promote healthy children and to fight childhood obesity, Kaiser Permanente has often urged that children get off the couch and engage in physical activity. Kaiser Permante of the Mid-Atlantic States is promoting a screen free week that includes avoidance of TV, video games and computers.
The campaign to get kids moving is in effect 4/18-24/11.
Kaiser Family Foundation statistics say the proliferation of media access brought to bear by smartphones, tablets and other venues have led to an average of 7.5 hours of daily media engagement among children aged 8-18. Kaiser believes that this excessive time expenditure on a sedentary activity is a major cause of the obesity epidemic. Kaiser notes that the 7.5 hours does not include time spent texting, and represents an increase of a full hour per day of media use in just five years.
Kaiser says that home screen-use policy should not be restricted to one special week, and makes the following recommendations for households to adopt at all times:
* Turn off the TV during meals to encourage family conversation and interaction.
* Keep TVs out of children’s bedrooms.
* Create “screen-free” days on the family calendar.
* Replace screen time with physical activity like walking, playing sports, or other active games.
* Active play time develops mental, physical, and social skills.
* The maximum amount recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics is two hours of television each day for children over age two. TV is not recommended at all for children under age two.
* Do not use TV time as a reward.