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List: Posted: 04/22/11
In this age of computer technology, it's important to understand how becoming addicted to certain electronic devices can cause a problem for children if their parents aren't careful to set boundaries. In the States, we have one of the highest rates of obesity with 74.1% of adults and 25% of all children being classified as obese. Limiting the time your children spend using electronic yous such as gaming systems can greatly improve their chances of avoiding being part of these alarming figures.
To begin with, if your child spends all of his or her after-school and weekend time playing video games and watching television, you can be assured that they may soon start to experience issues with their weight. A recent investigation by the Program for the Study of Media and Health at the Kaiser Family Foundation found that in 2011, children and teen spend an average of 7 hours interacting with media devices such as video games, TVs and computers. That's 53 hours per week - more hours than most adults spend in a full time job. Most of that time is spent sitting down, taking time away from the things that kids in previous generations grew up doing that kept them fit - namely, playing outside, running, jumping, climbing and playing ball games.
However, computer usage amongst children may be a different story. Computers can be great learning devices and although experts are divided on whether or not they increase or decrease your child's attention span, it's clear that learning to use a computer at a young age can give your child a great advantage over older generations.
When it comes to portable electronic devices, the trick it for parents to help their child pick devices that encourage reading and research, such as the Kindle, or the Wikireader - both forms of electronic 'book' that have a database of thousands of books or encyclopedia pages. The learning provided can be great for children of all ages, proving that technology isn't necessarily the enemy.
Keeping a close watch on kids and their daily electronic device usage is important. Excessive use of video gaming systems and television is thought to contribute to childhood obesity and a sedentary lifestyle, making the case that kids and electronics aren't a great match.
If you are concerned that your child is spending too much time in an electronic world rather than the real world, setting ground rules for the use of gaming systems, removing TV sets from their bedrooms and starting new family traditions such as a weekly board game night can help to bring their media addiction back under control.
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