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Why Limit Screen Time?

The CDC reported that according to the Kaiser Family Foundation, kids ages 8-18 now spend, on average, a whopping 7.5 hours in front of a screen for entertainment each day, 4.5 hours of which are spent watching TV. Over a year, that adds up to 114 full days watching a screen for fun.

That’s just the time they spend in front of a screen for entertainment. It doesn’t include the time they spend on the computer at school for educational purposes or at home for homework. The time kids spend watching TV, playing video games, surfing the web, is time they could be physically active.

Children need physical activity to grow up strong and healthy. Preschool-aged children (ages three through five years) should be active throughout the day for growth and development. Children and adolescents (ages six through 17 years) should do 60 minutes or more of moderate-to-vigorous intensity physical activity each day, including daily aerobic activity (which is anything that makes their hearts beat faster). Also include bone-strengthening activities (like running or jumping) and muscle- strengthening activities (such as climbing or pushups) at least three days each week.

Remember that children imitate adults. Start adding physical activity to your own routine and encourage your child to join you. Do activities you enjoy.

For more information, call the Daniels County Health Department at 406-487-5560.

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