Children Should Avoid Excessive Technology Usage During School Breaks

By Dr. Sarah Stelzner
Eskenazi Health pediatrician

In recent years our cellphones, computers and tablets have taken our attention away from many everyday activities, and our physical well-being is suffering for it. This seriously impacts children who run the greatest risk of technology taking over to the detriment of their health and development.

According to a new survey conducted by the YMCA of the USA, about three out of four children ages 5 to 10 get less than one hour of physical activity daily during their formative years, and the latest trend in technology engagement is considered a big reason why. 

Instead of play involving physical activity, youngsters are spending countless hours playing video games, SnapChatting and being involved with social media, spending an average of seven hours a day looking at screens. Teens send an average of 3,417 text messages monthly. 

One of the numerous physical maladies associated with excessive technology usage is childhood obesity, which is a dangerous epidemic throughout the United States. Additionally, children and teens can be exposed to adult content, cyber bullying and have sleep disruption due to bright screen lights.

So what’s a parent to do? Warmer weather and spring break should encourage children to go outside and experience the benefits of fun physical activity while enjoying the fresh air. 

Parents can suggest their children take the dog for a walk, play tag with friends, utilize playground equipment at a nearby park, hike with family members, swim, ride a bike or play sports. 

There are a number of camps that offer scholarships: visit www.happyhollowcamp.net or www.jamesoncamp.org and http://mccoyouth.org/resource/youth-activity-directory/.

Public libraries and Indy Parks offer many programs too. 
For additional outdoor activities suggested for children, visit www.VeryWell.com or www.healthychildren.org. 

If you are in need of a pediatrician for your child or a primary care physician for yourself, call 317-880-8687 or visit www.eskenazi
health.edu/doctors.

You can see this original article in The Southsider Voice.