Power Off And Play!

This year, Power Off and Play!

Let’s find a healthy balance!

Kids love to learn and play on their devices. But when they spend lots of time in front of screens, they have less free time for other healthy activities. That’s why finding a healthy balance is important. Play supports a child’s development and contributes to their physical, social and emotional well-being. We can help our kids build a balanced day filled with plenty of physical activity, face-to-face interactions, family time and fun. It all starts when you encourage them to power off and play!

With new technology and devices, limiting kids screen time has never been more challenging. However, by promoting a healthier balance, you have the potential to show your children that all the other ways there are to have fun. One of the easiest ways to achieve this is for adults to set a positive example by putting away their own devices!

It can be as easy as powering off before bedtime, mealtime, and other important times. As an alternative to electronics, encourage outdoor and unstructured play, participation in meal preparation, cooking and screen free meals, and helping your kids use Active Transportation more often walking and wheeling where they need to go!

Reducing and balancing a child’s screen time with healthier activities can increase cognitive and communication skills in a child’s development. Research shows too much screen time for children can have negative outcomes for early development, physical and psychological health, and can interfere with important daily routines, making it difficult for children to stay healthy.

Watch for fun Healthy Kids activities like Snow Day, Open Playgrounds, Pop-Up Adventure Playgrounds and lots more fun activities and challenges that will help you encourage your child to Power Off and Play!

To stay up-to-date with what is happening in your community, follow Greater Sudbury’s Healthy Kids Community Challenge social media pages:

Twitter: @HealthyKidsSud
Facebook: www.facebook.com/healthykidssudbury

Quick facts about screen time:
  • According to the Canadian Pediatric Society, children under 2 years of age should have no screen time; children aged 2 to 4 should have less than 1 hour per day; and children aged 5 to 17 should have no more than 2 hours of screen time per day.
  • In Ontario, almost 85 per cent of parents report they eat meals as a family away from the TV. Those who do are over 65 per cent more likely to report their child is meeting guidelines for eating veggies and fruit.
  • In Ontario, parents report that girls average over 2.5 hours and boys average over 3 hours of screen time each day.
  • 76 per cent of 5 to 19 year-olds in Canada report watching television, playing computer or video games, or reading during the afterschool period.
  • The Canadian Physical Activity Guidelines recommend that Canadian children aged 5 to 17 get at least 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous-intensity physical activity each day. Only 9 per cent of this age group are meeting these recommendations.
     

For more information about reducing screen time:

Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care

Screen time and young children: Promoting health and development in a digital world (a report by the Canadian Pediatric Society)