How a Balanced Media Diet Bolsters Child Development WAIT — SCREEN TIME IS GOOD FOR KIDS?
For infants and young toddlers, the research still sides pretty heavily against the use of iPads and television. Before 18 months of age, a child lacks the cognitive capabilities allowing them to apply the lessons of technology to real life, and even after that, the APP recommends that media consumption should be limited to “high- quality programming, such as the content offered by Sesame Workshop and PBS.” But for kids ages 5 and up, parents should avoid banning screen time outright, but function as their child’s media mentor. Instead of decrying time spent building complex structures in “Minecraft” as hours that could be spent on the soccer field, we should set expectations and boundaries to ensure that children can deepen their experience of the world through media, not hamper it. The problem starts not with the screen itself, but when the consumption of media becomes problematic, replacing regular face-to-face interactions and physical activity. But with a balanced media diet, kids can have the best of both worlds.
If you Google the effects of screen time on children, you’re sure to be bombarded with horror stories. Numerous articles claim that, beginning in infancy, the more time a child spends in front of a TV, phone, or computer, the worse their developmental outcomes will be. At first glance, the research is utterly conclusive. It seems we should throw out every TV in our house, smash our kids’ smartphones, and usher our children into the great outdoors as soon as possible. But what most of these studies fail to take into account is the content of the electronic media. If a child spends two hours a day bingeing episodes of “The Big Bang Theory” or screaming obscenities into a headset while playing “Call of Duty,” it’s going to negatively impact their experience of the world along with their mental and physical health. But not all content is created equal. In the past, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommended strict limits on electronic engagement for kids, following the old line of thinking that any kind of screen time would be better spent climbing a tree or running in the backyard. But in October of 2016, they offered new recommendations for parents.
Ashley is the awesome physical therapy assistant at our Caldwell clinic. Since joining our team in September 2016, she’s been an essential part of the Altitude team. She helps us all be better at our jobs. While attending college in Idaho, Ashley didn’t plan to study PT. In fact, she was planning to go into dentistry. But when Ashley’s mom underwent two knee surgeries and worked with a physical therapist to recover, she immediately thought of Ashley. “You’d be a great physical therapist,” Ashley’s mom kept telling her. She was on a soccer scholarship at Idaho State University, and after taking a physical therapy class, she realized her mom was right — she loved it. “Everyone is different,” Ashley says. “The body’s ability to heal amazes me every single day. It’s a very rewarding field to be in.” HOW ASHLEY’S JOURNEY Led Her to Altitude
play soccer in local rec leagues, and it’s a lifelong passion. “I’ve been playing since I was 4, when I fell in love with the game. Soccer has given me tools and skills that nothing else has. I’ve learned to thrive in a team atmosphere, and I think that’s largely due to soccer.” Ashley is just as grateful for her awesome team at Altitude. “We have fun and giggle a lot, but we’re also very serious about treating our patients. My team trusts me and I trust them, and that mutual trust makes this a great place to work.” In addition to her work team, Ashley appreciates her incredible patients and watching them get better. “Seeing patients go from a wheelchair to a walker to needing no support at all is what I
like to do. I want to help people get back to their lives, whether that’s basketball, golf, or just being able to get out of bed and walk. That’s why I love physical therapy.”
After moving to Idaho, Ashley and her husband fell in love with Boise, too. Ashley continues to
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