Getting Kids Away from the Screens and Moving - WBAY

Getting Kids Away from the Screens and Moving

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It seems like screens are everywhere now.  So many people are glued to TVs, tablets and phones.

One of the toughest things for parents to do is to limit kids' screen time.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says childhood obesity rates in the U.S. have tripled since the 1980s, and some experts say screen time is a big reason.

This week is a national movement called "screen-free week."

Here are some tips from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute on how to cut down that screen time:

  • Experts say the first thing to do is to track your screen time. Make a log: how much time is your family in front of screens -- and how much time are you physically active? Once you know the numbers, you can work to improve them.

  • Make meal time, family time, and turn off the screens. Experts say you should consider moving a TV out of the dining area so it's not even an option. Research shows that families that eat together tend to eat more nutritious meals.

  • Give your kids options. Don't just tell them to turn off the screens and then leave them with nothing to do. Suggest things like playing a game, or reading a book with them, or doing crafts or puzzles. Kids won't be bored, plus then they get to spend a little time with you.

If you're struggling to get your kids moving, there are some things you can do to inspire them to get off the couch.  Here are some tips from Web MD:

  • Lead by example. If you go outside with them or play a game with them, they'll see that exercise is important to you, and it'll make it more important to them.

  • Give them positive feedback when they're playing sports and exercising. Experts say kids can really take criticism to heart and get turned off of an activity entirely if they feel like mom or dad think they're bad at it.

  • Invite a friend. Turn that exercise into play time, and kids won't feel like exercise is a chore.



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