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Texas Children Encouraged to Turn Off the Screens

Average Preschooler has 32 Screen Hours a Week


by John Michaelson /TNS

AUSTIN, Texas – This is Screen-Free Week, an annual effort to get kids unleashed from the grip of electronic devices, even if only for a few days.

According to Dr. Susan Linn, the director of the Campaign for Commercial Free Childhood, the idea is to get kids away from video games, smartphones, tablets and TVs and get them to read, explore nature and spend time with friends and family.

“It’s not even that screens are necessarily ‘bad guys’ – except for babies – but it’s just that there’s too much of them in our lives and way too much of them in children’s lives and it’s important to take a break,” she clarified.

It’s now estimated that preschoolers spend an average of 32 hours a week in front of a screen, and the number is even higher for older children.

The amount of time kids spend at a screen has been growing as technology has become more integrated in our every day lives, according to Toni Riedel, director of communications at the Early Years Institute.

“Y’know, when we were young, we were outside playing,” she recalled. “We were what’s called ‘free-range children.’ Today, kids are tied to screens. You know, we’re in such a technology-oriented society.”

Riedel pointed out that for children from birth to at least age two, every week should be screen-free.

“The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends: children under two – no screen media, no television.”

Adults are also encouraged to take the pledge to swear off screens for a week, and only use them when required for work.

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