Get Tips to Be Screen Free...or at least less

Screens are part of all our lives. Phones. Computers. Games.TV. We are so surrounded, we often lose track of how much time we are spending looking at screens. They have a good side, for sure. But there can be a problem too.

On average, preschool children spend over four and a half hours a day on a screen. Older children spend over seven hours a day. These long hours of screen time are linked to a number of problems for children. Some of these problems include children not being at a healthy weight, not doing well at school, and having trouble with staying focused.

Screen-Free Week is planned this year from April 30th to May 6th. To learn more about this event go to www.screenfree.org

Try some of these ideas to lessen your screen time:

  • Change how your furniture is set up. Instead of all furniture facing the TV, set it up for games and great conversations. Make the screen less central to the room.
  • Keep TV’s out of the bedrooms, especially the children’s rooms.
  • Set limits for yourself and share them with others. Be an inspiration to your friends and family.
  • Keep the remote in a drawer.
  • Make your meals screen-free, including phones.
  • Get your family involved in chores, meal prep, and other projects.
  • Set a block of screen-free time for the whole family every week, or even every day.
  • Make at least one day of the week a Family Screen-Free Day. Go to the website for 101 ideas of things to do. Here are some: Go fly a kite, visit the library, ride bikes, or take a hike.

For the rest of the year, want to know what limits to set? Here are three different levels of limits that have worked for lots of other people:

  • No more than 2 hours per day of recreational screens 7 days per week. This includes all screens: television, tablets, smartphones, computers, and video games. Plan it out beforehand, since time can pass very quickly.
  • No more than 2 hours per day on weekends of recreational screens and only an hour per day during the work/school week.
  • No more than 2 hours per day on weekends and no recreational screens during the school/work week.

For more ideas on living screen-free, call Four Corners Health Department at 877-337-3573. Visit our website at www.fourcorners.ne.gov . Find the fun outside of the screen!