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"Screen-Free Week" - Plenty of Options in Idaho

GRAPHIC: Children  and adults  are urged to resist the tantalizing images on entertainment screens for one week, ending May 5th. Courtesy CCFC.
GRAPHIC: Children and adults are urged to resist the tantalizing images on entertainment screens for one week, ending May 5th. Courtesy CCFC.
April 30, 2013

BOISE, Idaho - No Nintendos, Play Stations, tablets, TVs or smart phones ... for a week. That's the challenge for kids during this "Screen-Free Week," through Sunday. The idea is to encourage children to read, explore nature, and spend time with friends and family.

According to Dr. Susan Linn, director of the Campaign for a Commercial Free Childhood, they don't mean to imply that electronic devices don't have benefits, but balance is needed.

"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 declared.

Some studies show that on average preschoolers spend 32 hours a week enthralled by screened entertainment, the CCFC reported.

Linn said that when families are out with restless kids at restaurants and other public places, mobile screens are too often offered up to keep them quiet.

"They could bring books, or they could bring crayons, little things that will occupy them if it's really too hard for them to sit for long periods of time," she suggested.

The campaign also points out that any screen time for children under two is not the best for their developing brains.

The Be Outside Idaho website has a list of 101 things to do outdoors, to help parents find alternatives to those glowing screens.

More information is at bit.ly/XdPstu.



Deborah Courson Smith/Deb Courson Smith, Public News Service - ID