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Media and Child Health - Why Media Matters

by Guest
Posted March 13 2012 04:53pm

Children today are consuming media at unprecedented rates. The average preschooler watches 32 hours of television a week. Almost half of households with preschool children have 3 TVs in the home and 18% have 5 or more! 32% of 2-7 year olds have a TV in their bedroom. So what do all these numbers mean? They mean that presently, the average child spends more time with screen media than on any other activity save for sleeping. It also means that there is good reason for parents to be concerned about what their kids are watching.

How Screen Media affects Children

Children are drawn to screen media. And with all the educational claims that products are making, it is no wonder that smartphones, tablets, and TVs are being used as babysitters. They are reliable and easily accessible options for parents who, understandably, need a little downtime. So what can parents to do in an increasingly media-saturated environment?

What the experts say

The Canadian Pediatric Society (CPS) and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) have both issued similar guidelines for parents that recommend no screen time for children under two year of age and no more than 1-2 hours per day for children 2 and up.

Setting limits

Heavy media use is associated with higher rates of obesity, anxiety, reduced attention spans, and sleep disturbances. Fortunately, these effects are significantly mediated when parents set limits. Studies show that those children whose parents have put limits on screen time and what content is appropriate show reductions in these effects.

Get Involved!

Apps, digital games, and even TV shows can be educational when they are used appropriately. The challenge is finding the content that is right for you and your family (or perhaps finding the time to find that content). There are countless educational videos for kids online, but one of the most important steps a parent can take is to be involved. Whether that is through co-viewing or talking to your child about what they’re watching, parental involvement is vital. After all, you are the expert on your child.

 


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Kidobi provides smart media solutions for parents with young children. Our unique technology adapts to the skill level of each child, creating tailor-made, ad-free playlists that are just right for them. Give your child media that matters! Visit www.kidobi.com today to make screen time count!

 

 

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How to Choose a Broker

by Maxine
Posted August 1 2010 12:36am
Filed under:

When looking for an RESP provider, it is important that you shop around and ask questions. Be sure to choose a company that you feel comfortable with, as you will be working with said company throughout the lifespan of your RESP.

RESP providers may be from a bank, a mutual fund company, a discount brokerage, or another financial institution. They must be registered and regulated by the government. They will help you pick the plan that works best for your situation and will offer you advice on making safe investments for your money. Your provider will manage the payments when your child starts post-secondary education and needs to collect the funds.

Your provider will also help you manage your contributions should your child decide not to continue his or her education after high school.

Be sure to ask many questions, as RESP providers offer different plans that have different rules or restrictions. Some charge service fees or limit the amount of money you can put into your plan. In some cases the terms of your contract dictate how often you can contribute and/or that you must make regular payments.

The Government of Canada suggests reading this information before choosing an RESP provider: http://www.canlearn.ca/eng/saving/resp/mcn.shtml and the offer a list of suggested questions to ask: http://www.canlearn.ca/eng/saving/resp/qrp.shtml

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Do Video Games and TV Affect Your Child’s Attention Span?

by Guest
Posted March 13 2012 04:31pm

Research published in the July 2010 edition of the journal Pediatrics finds a strong correlation between screen time and attention problems. The authors of the study found that the associations between screen time and attention problems were similar across age (middle childhood/adolescence/young adulthood) and across media types (video games/television).

Experimental Design

The study looked at video game and television habits as reported by the children and their parents, as well as reports from the children’s teachers regarding their performance in school, including any attention problems. More than 1300 kids in grades 3, 4, and 5 took part in the study. The study’s authors found that children who exceeded the recommended two hours of screen time per day were 1.5 times more likely to exhibit attention problems in school.

Correlation doesn't equal Causation

The first caveat to these findings is that correlational data only go so far. We know there is a relationship between attention and screen time, but teasing out the details of this relationship requires further research. Do video games cause attention problems or do kids with attention problems play more video games? Are there other factors at play, such as not getting enough exercise or regular sleep? Without a randomized controlled trial we cannot draw any causal conclusions about how video games affect children’s attention spans.

Recommendations

The American Academy of Pediatrics and the Canadian Pediatric Society both recommend limiting children’s screen time to no more than two hours per day. Between handheld video game devices, television, computers, console games, and movies this recommendation will be one that is increasingly difficult to implement.

What’s Your Strategy?

I recently heard about one parent’s unique approach to managing their child’s handheld gaming time; they give their child one battery charge per week, then it is up to the child to spend it wisely throughout the week. What’s your media management strategy? Post a comment below and share your tips for how to enjoy media wisely.

 


Kidobi.com logo and tag

Kidobi provides smart media solutions for parents with young children. Our unique technology adapts to the skill level of each child, creating tailor-made, ad-free playlists that are just right for them. Give your child media that matters! Visit www.kidobi.com today to make screen time count!

 

 

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Can I open an RESP for a teenager/older child?

by Maxine
Posted August 1 2010 12:38am
Filed under:

Yes, you can open an RESP for a teenager or older child. Any child 17 or younger is eligible for the Canada Education Savings Grant. However, the younger you start the more interest will accrue and the more contributions you will be eligible to receive from government incentive programs. Since the plan is designed to support long-term savings for your child’s education there are special rules that apply for children between the ages of 15 and 17. Contact Service Canada or speak to your RESP provider for more information on your specific situation.

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