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Screen-Free Week 2014, May 5 through May 11

Screen-Free Week, sponsored at DHS by Safe Start, is a fun opportunity for children and families to explore the alternatives to screen media -- TV, DVDs, video games and computers. Children and their families are encouraged to make screen-free time a significant part of their everyday lives so they can rediscover the fun that comes from interacting with each other.

Screen Free Week logoScreen-Free Week Resources in English
Pantalla libres de Recursos semana en Español 

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends no screen time for children under two and less than two hours per day for older children.

Research shows the benefits of reduced screen time*
  • Reducing screen time can help prevent childhood obesity.
  • Children who spend less time watching television in early years tend to do better in school, have a healthier diet, be more physically active, and are better able to engage in schoolwork in later elementary school.
  • Television viewing at a young age is associated with later behavioral problems, but not if heavy viewing is discontinued before age six.
  • Limiting exposure to television during the first four years of life may decrease children’s interest in it in later years.
Excessive screen time puts young children at risk*
  • Screen time for children under three is linked to irregular sleep patterns and delayed language acquisition.
  • Toddler screen time is also associated with problems in later childhood, including lower math and school achievement, reduced physical activity, victimization by classmates and increased BMI.
  • Direct exposure to TV and overall household viewing are associated with increased early childhood aggression.
School-age children are also at risk from excessive screen time*
  • Time spent with screens is associated with:
    – childhood obesity
    – sleep disturbances
    – attention span issues
  • Children with two or more hours of daily screen time are more likely to have increased psychological difficulties, including hyperactivity, emotional and conduct problems, as well as difficulties with peers.
  • Adolescents who watch three or more hours of television daily are at especially high risk for poor homework completion, negative attitudes toward school, poor grades, and long-term academic failure.

World Wide Web Icon Center for Media and Child Health
Learn more about the impact of screen media on the physical, mental, and social health of children, tweens, teens and young adults on this page.

pdf.gif 101 Screen-Free Activities and More!  

One hundred and one ways to spend quality time alone or with family and friends that are engaging and FUN! Here's a sample:

  • Write an article or story.
  • Take a nature hike.
  • Paint a picture, a mural or a room.
  • Write to the President, your Representative, or Senators.
  • Read a book. Read to someone else.
  • Learn to change the oil or tire on a car. Fix something.
  • Write a letter to a friend or relative.
  • Make cookies, bread or jam and share with a neighbor.
  • Read magazines or newspapers. Swap them with friends.
  • Go through your closets and donate items to Goodwill, the Salvation Army, or a local rummage sale. Have a garage sale.
  • Start a diary/journal.
  • Play cards.
  • Make crafts to give as gifts. Try a new craft.
Once you decide to take the Screen-Free Week challenge, you are on your way to a fun-filled week

pdf.gif  SFW Flyer
Post this around your favorite places to invite others to learn to live screen-free.

pdf.gif SFMonth Activity Calendar
Find ideas about how to have fun with your pre-schooler.

pdf.gif SFW Pledge Card
Take the pledge to avoid TV, DVD, video games and computers for one week.

pdf.gif SFW Activity Log
Keep track of the fun things you did that took the place of screen viewing during SFW.

pdf.gif SFW Drawing Frame
Draw a picture of your favorite non-screen activity and send it in for a chance to be published!

pdf.gif SFW Certificate of Achievement
Celebrate your success and post your certificate where all can see.

Pantalla libres de Recursos semana 
Utilice este enlace para encontrar todos los documentos antes en español

pdf.gif Citations for all these statements and more are available here. Screen-free Week 2012 and the SFW Organizer’s Kit is presented by Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood.