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Reduce Your Child’s Screen Time With These Outdoor Activities

We rely on screens for work, school, entertainment, and much more. Even though screens are an essential part of our lives, too much screen time can harm your health – no matter how old you are.

According to the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, too much screen time among children and teenagers can lead to:

●   Mood disorders
●   Weight problems
●   Fear of missing out on things with their friends
●   Poor body image issues
●   Less time spent with their friends and family
●   Less time spent outdoors and being physically active

Additionally, too much screen time can lead to physical and mental health problems. According to Scripps Health, excessive screen time may cause:

●   Headaches
●   Eyestrain
●   Poor sleep and insomnia
●   Back, shoulder, and neck pain
●   Social media addiction

When it comes to screen time, psychologist Doreen Dodgen-Magee says, “the goal is finding balance between screen-based and non-screen activities.”

There’s no better time to start practicing balance than today. As the weather warms up and summer inches closer, there are plenty of fun activities you can do outdoors as a family to get out of the house and off your devices!

Here are a few suggestions:

  • Visiting your nearest state park. Did you know that there are 75 state parks in Ohio? State parks are free and open every day, giving your family the perfect opportunity to get outside and see more of the state.
  • Swimming at your local pool. Nothing beats a hot summer day like splashing around in a pool. If that’s not available in your area, you could also set up a sprinkler to have fun in your own backyard.
  • Exploring new bike trails. Biking is a fun activity for every age, and it’s the perfect way to get outside and get active around your neighborhood.
  • Camping. Become one with nature this spring and camp outside, even if it’s just in your backyard. Don’t forget to pack some chocolate, marshmallows, and graham crackers for roasting the perfect s’more.
  • Gardening. Overnight frosts are officially gone until fall, which means now is the best time to plant flowers or vegetables. Pick what you want to plant as a family and spend the afternoon perfecting your new landscaping.

There are many ways to help your children reduce their screen time while spending time as a family and enjoying the spring weather. For more information on how screen time can affect your child, visit ChangeTheGameOhio.org.

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