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Payton Dennis

2 November, 2016

Diana Watkins

MWF- 11:30

Health Risks for Young Children

Back in the day kids were always outside playing, running around, riding bikes, and

getting dirty. Things are much different now, children choose to stay inside to play video games,

watch television, and use their tablets more than ever before. Kids arent going outside and

getting dirty anymore, and they arent experiencing fresh air. Children have unlimited amounts of

screen media time during their day and boundaries should be set. Some may say that screen

media does not have any effect on young children but in the long run it does. We can get kids

back outside by knowing about screen media and how it affects the mental and physical health of


Sometimes its easier to sit a child in front of a television or tablet then it is to keep them

happy and entertained but have you ever thought that having them watch endless hours of

cartoons or play meaningless games on a tablet or smart phone could be hurting them? Too much

screen media for young children can be affecting the way they grow and develop. The

recommended amount of screen [media] a day is less than 120 minutes (Carlson, et al). This

being said children are needing a health balance between their screen time and time that involves

play that is stimulating to the brain.

When kids are at home is usually when they are getting the most screen media viewing

time and while screen media is okay in moderation, but too much can be bad for children. Kids

go home and sit in front of the television or a computer for hours at a time. They are able to stay
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there as long as they please, maybe being pulled away for dinner or homework. This is an issue

within itself because kids arent going outside, they arent using their brains for stimulating and

interactive activities. Children spend more time indoors using electronic media and less time

engaged in outdoor unstructured play (McCurdy, et al). Everyone knows that kids need to be

involved in active play and learning. These children that are glued to screen media need time

away to relax their brains and give their eyes a rest. They need to go play with other children

face to face and have real fun. By being outside and active kids will find what they are really

interested in, things that screen media cant give.

Kids spend lots of time using screen media, they will sit and watch hours of YouTube

videos of cats or of funny songs. When a child sits in front of a screen inside for large amounts of

time over long periods of time they can start to develop some heath issues. Some that can be

noticed right away like picking up on things that they are watching, others may not become

noticeable until they are older. Either way screen media could be contributing to these issues.

Some are minor and can be handled with just a few small adjustments in their daily schedule but

others are more major and require the help of a doctor or physician. An increase in sedentary

indoor lifestyles has contributed to childhood chronic conditions such as Childhood Obesity,

Asthma, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, and Vitamin D deficiency (McCurdy, et al).

These are all factors that result from staying inside and glued to screen media. These are also

things that can occur on their own but being inside and using screen media increase the chance of

acquiring one or more of these conditions. These few diagnoses can also be prevented by having

less time with screens and more time being outside, or interacting with others in a simulating

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Young children need restrictions and rules on just about everything. They have set

schedules; from the time they get up in the morning to the time they lay their heads down at

night. The rules and restrictions are in place to act as guidelines for how their day will run.

Typically, if a child feels as if their daily schedule is off the whole day is in shambles, but if they

stay on schedule with no bumps they should have a pretty good day. So by setting specific rules

and limits that apply to screen media is no different. The American Academy of Pediatrics has

recommended that children over 2 years of age use screen media for no more than 2 hours per

day (Schmidts, et al). By setting these rules and limits for young children who use screen media

will ultimately improve the chances of them not developing some of the health risks or


On the contrary screen media that is structured and educational has been proved to help

young students learn new information. These students are also retaining the new information

because they can think back to the video or the game that they used to learn. By Watching

quality educational television in the preschool years can lead to long term academic and social

benefits (Blackwell, et al). Giving these children the right tools needed to academically succeed

from a young age like preschool could impact their lives forever. They will have a better

understanding of ways to create their own memorizations tools and an overall idea of how they


When screen media is being used correctly it has some really great advantages. Some that

will even last for years to come. In a school setting that has the option to use screen media often

the children thrive more. These education videos and games and any other purposeful screen

media have been proven to help young children. Research has shown that quality educational

media can enhance young childrens learning (Blackwell, et al). This is a major benefit of using
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screen media. These children are getting fun and purposed education by occasionally using

screen media in the classroom.

Ten years ago media was a completely different concept than it is today. Even four years

ago things were different. Families didnt have to worry about kids having health issues due to a

video game or because they watched television because these children were still going outside

playing with their friends and getting active play. Today parents are having to set limitations like

never before for these kids who only want to stay inside and use screen media. By setting these

rules is forcing children to go outside and experience fresh air and stimulating and active play.

Parents dont want to see their children grow up and develop any kind of health condition. By

forcing these children off of screen media can prevent them from obtaining a number of health

issues that come with the use of too much screen media. So parents tell your kids to hope off the

electronic media and to go outside.

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Works cited

Courtney K. Blackwell, Alexis R. Lauricella, Ellen Wartella. Factors influencing digital

technology use in early childhood education. August 2014, vol.77, pp. 82-90. Science

Direct. Accessed 29

October 2016.

Carlson, Susan A. John T. Foley, Janet E. Fulton, Carrie Heitzler, Marian Huhman, Sarah

M. Lee. Influence of Limit-Setting and Participation in Physical Activity on Youth

Screen Time. July 2010, vol. 126. AAP News and Journals. Accessed 29 October 2016

Schmidts, Marie Evans. Jess Haines, Ashley OBrien, Julia McDonald, Sarah Price,

Bettylou Sherry, Elsie M. Taveras. Systematic Review of Effective Strategies for

Reducing Screen Time Among Young Children. 6 September 2012. Wiley Online

Library. Accessed 29 October


McCurdy, Leyla E. Suril S. Mehta, James R. Roberts, Kate E. Winterbottom. Using

Nature and Outdoor Activity to Improve Childrens Health. May 2010, vol. 40, pp. 102-

117. Science Direct,

Accessed 29 October 2016.