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PostPosted: 27 Oct 2010, 20:17 
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Your pediatrician may soon want to know... ... on2010.htm


Below is a release on an updated policy statement appearing in the November issue of Pediatrics, the peer-reviewed, scientific journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP).

An updated policy statement from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), “Media Education,” published in the November print issue of Pediatrics, reflects the dramatic changes in the media landscape over the past decade. When the statement was last issued in 1999, statistics showed children and adolescents spent more than 3 hours per day on average viewing television. Today, with the ubiquitous nature of media in multiple formats, the definition of media use has been expanded, and kids are now spending more than 7 hours per day on average using televisions, computers, phones and other electronic devices for entertainment. The increasing availability of media, including access to inappropriate content that is not easily supervised, creates an urgent need for parents, pediatricians and educators to understand the various ways that media use affects children and teens.

First, excessive media time takes away from other creative, active or social activities. In addition, the content of media must be considered, including entertainment, news and advertising. Particularly important are the effects of violent or sexual content, and movies or shows that glamorize alcohol and tobacco use. Studies have associated high levels of media use with school problems, attention difficulties, sleep and eating disorders, and obesity. And the Internet and cell phones have become important new sources and platforms for illicit and risky behaviors.

But media education has the potential to reduce harmful media effects, and careful selection of media can help children to learn. In addition to longstanding AAP advice about limiting, planning and supervising media use, new recommendations include:

Pediatricians should ask at least two media-related questions at each visit: How much entertainment media per day is the child or adolescent watching? (The AAP recommends that children have less than two hours of screen time per day, and viewing should be avoided for children under 2.) Is there a TV set or Internet access in the child or teen’s bedroom?
Parents should be good media role models; emphasize alternate activities; and create an “electronic media-free” environment in children’s bedrooms.
Schools should begin to implement media education in their curricula, and Congress should consider funding universal media education in schools.
The federal government and private foundations should dramatically increase their funding for media research.
The authors conclude that a media-educated person will be able to limit his or her media use, make positive media choices, develop critical thinking and viewing skills, and be less vulnerable to negative effects of media content and advertising. In addition, simply reducing children’s and adolescents’ screen media use has been shown conclusively to have beneficial health effects.

The embargo on this policy has lifted. To see a copy of the policy, see ... 010-1636v1

The American Academy of Pediatrics is an organization of 60,000 primary care pediatricians, pediatric medical subspecialists and pediatric surgical specialists dedicated to the health, safety and well being of infants, children, adolescents and young adults.

Recently 'they' also said that more than 2 hours a day is bad.
A child who spends at least two hours a day in front of a TV screen or computer monitor has a significantly higher risk of developing psychological problems, no matter how much physical activity they do, researchers from the University of Bristol's Centre for Exercise, Nutrition and Health Sciences, England reported in an article published in the American Journal of Pediatrics. The more physically active children who were in front of a screen for at least two hours a day appeared to do better than their sedentary peers in emotional and peer problems, but fared worse in behavioral areas, including hyperactivity.

This latest study, called The PEACH project, assessed over 1,000 kids aged ten and eleven years. The investigators gathered data on how long they spent in front of a computer monitor and/or TV screen, as well as their mental health. The children's levels of physical activity were measured and recorded using an activity monitor.

The researchers found that those children who spend at least two hours watching TV and/or using their computer for non-homework use (recreational use) had higher psychological difficulty scores compared to their peers who spent less time in front of screens. The investigators add that the difficulty scores persisted, irrespective of how physically active the children were.

In other words, it appears that regular prolonged exposure to monitors/screens increases the risk of psychological problems, and exercise does not seem to get rid of the problem.

The authors believe that limiting a child's exposure to TV/Computer screens could play an important role in protecting their current and future mental health and well-being.

The activity monitor indicated that:
Kids whose physical activity were gauged as sedentary appeared to get better overall psychological scores.
Children with moderate physical activity seemed to have more behavior problems, including hyperactivity, but had better scores relating to peer problems and emotional issues.
Their psychological well-being was evaluated via questionnaires which asked them to rate their strengths and difficulties in areas of hyperactivity, behavior (conduct), emotional, and peer problems. They read a series of statements and were asked to rate their truth value with a score of 1 to 3 - with 1 being untrue and 3 being certainly true. En example of statements they had to rate regarding emotional well-being included; "I am often unhappy, down-hearted or tearful', while statements to assess their peer problems included; 'I am usually on my own', 'I generally play alone or keep to myself." Lead author, Angie Page said:

Whilst low levels of screen viewing may not be problematic, we cannot rely on physical activity to 'compensate' for long hours of screen viewing.

Watching TV or playing computer games for more than two hours a day is related to greater psychological difficulties irrespective of how active children are.

Source: University of Bristol's Centre for Exercise, Nutrition and Health Sciences

"Children's Screen Viewing is Related to Psychological Difficulties Irrespective of Physical Activity"
Angie Page et al
Published online October 11, 2010
PEDIATRICS (doi:10.1542/peds.2010-1154d)

Chloride and Sodium: Two terribly dangerous substances that taste great together!

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