Am I Taking My 4 Year Old Out Too Much Too Much Screen Time Does Affect Your Child’s Health – Three Effective Actions to Take

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Too Much Screen Time Does Affect Your Child’s Health – Three Effective Actions to Take

As an obese child, I experienced in the shadows-the shadows of my “friends” choosing the side of the playground to play basketball, and not choosing me. The shadows behind the open gym doors where the girls would snicker and the boys would gossip. The shadow of myself-never let my light shine-who wants to call the flesh? The pain of being a “fat girl” far exceeded my physical limitations.

But by high school I had grown taller, lost the baby fat and played on the girls basketball team successfully. Boys still make bad comments about my body—but now they’re different. I am at a normal weight, strong and healthy. For a moment at least.

Adulthood brings back the battle of the bulge. And taken to a depth of physical pain and discomfort I’m not sure what I went through when I look back on those years. Two decades of severe pain followed the birth of my sons. Treatment has been very stressful, competing for time with my precious sons, and getting treatment and recovery time with other treatments because traditional methods don’t work. work – what about me? A lot. Gallbladder problem – it should be removed. Liver problems; poor digestion; insulin resistance. Obesity in childhood increases the risk of disease in adults. I know this first hand.

My mother showed that she loved her children by feeding them too much Polish and Italian food; many sweets. But we always play for hours outside a day walking in the forest collecting leaves, twigs, flowers to make things with; in the evening run wildly catch fireflies in the summer or play tag after dinner in school at night. We go outside, rain or shine, no matter how cold or hot, there is always some time to move in the backyard even if it’s just for five minutes to throw dry bread on sparrows find food within five feet of an unexpected spring. I am thankful now that exercise was in my childhood equation. As an adult, I don’t like bodybuilding like many of my friends do. I look forward to it. It is what saved me.

Through my own courage and good fortune to find the right doctors I am now blessed with good health. Although I may not be a size 8, I can walk at least two-three miles a day, lift weights, do Yoga and Pilates and go for the occasional five mile walk. I can bend and touch my toes, something some kids can’t do.

That’s right. I was surprised when a colleague recently told me that 22 of her 27 kindergartners couldn’t touch their toes. Imagine a little five year old body struggling and failing to do this simple thing. Depression.

Many children today have many of the wrong foods as a priority for their unhealthy diet—fast food that is high in calories and lacks nutrition is a difficult example. But another important factor in the current warning of childhood obesity is the time children sit in front of the TV, video game or computer. They don’t move enough throughout their day.

Children today spend nearly 53 hours a week with TV, movies, the Internet, cell phones and video games. By comparison, children spend 17 hours a week with their parents on average and 30 hours a week at school. (1)

Analyzing childhood obesity, researchers found that in 173 studies in the past three years, 86% found a relationship between media and the increase in childhood obesity. 82% of the studies concluded that hours of social media predicted weight gain over time. A longitudinal study of 5,493 children reported that those who spent more than eight hours watching TV a week at age three were more likely to be obese at age seven.

Another important study found that 36 percent (almost 36%) of American preschoolers exceeded the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommendations to limit exposure to 2 hours or less a day. (Please note: I believe the AAP should have more recommendations for preschoolers by saying no more than 30 minutes per day of TV/DVD/computer use.) The study concluded that intervention to prevent and treat obesity in preschool children by reducing TV/video. look is guaranteed. (3)

However, by age 12 months, the average child watches about an hour of TV a day, even though the AAP recommends no screen time before age 2.

All of this is sobering news. However, there is hope on the horizon if parents take this information to heart. Parents make daily decisions to increase the number of benefits for children’s health when screen time is reduced and other necessary activities are increased.

Change, even a small step on the road goes a long way to improving children’s health and their future health as adults, too.

Parents: Start today to reduce screen time and do more by:

1. Eat together as a family.

Children make better food choices when they eat with mom or dad! A research study even found that families who eat dinner together with the TV out eat more fruits and vegetables than those who eat separately or have dinner at home with the TV on. (7)

2. Practice together as a family.

Family bike rides, walks, walks in the local park or other forms of movement not only support a child’s or young person’s need for movement but also provide useful models for making values ​​as important aspects of everyday life.

3. Provide opportunities for your child/teen to exercise.

Maybe it’s not safe for kids to go outside by themselves? Jumping rope in the parking lot, jumping on the old back or shooting hoops outside the kitchen window with the light on are ways to think “out of the fear box,” making children have safety and at the same time promote mobility. But also give time to children and youth outside as much as you can. A great place to get great ideas is Green Hour dot org. Sponsored by the Wildlife Foundation, this site is described as a “parent’s destination for nature, play, and education” with many great ideas for family outdoor activities. Yes, we can use technology and screen time in the service of our children’s health – if done effectively and creatively.

Copyright, Gloria DeGaetano, 2010. All Rights Reserved.

______________

Information

1. Media and Children’s Health: A Systematic Review, Conducted by Yale University School of Medicine and National Institutes of Health and California Pacific Medical Center, November 2008.

2. Ibid.

3. “TV viewing, computer use, obesity, and adiposity in US preschool children,” Jason A Mendoza1, Fred J Zimmerman, and Dimitri A Christakis,

International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity, September 25 2007. http://www.ijbnpa.org/content/4/1/44

Copyright, Gloria DeGaetano, 2010. All Rights Reserved.

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