Group Calls On Parents To Tear Kids Away From TV, Computer Screens For A Week

This is a thing that exists and people actually pay money for.

This is a thing that exists and people actually pay money for.

Not so long ago, people would have laughed at the idea that elementary school kids would have smartphones, or that every member of a family would have a TV in his/her room, or that potty-training toilets would be designed to hold a computer screen to placate the defecating infant. In an effort to remind people that there is life outside of the LCD screens they hold in their hands, one group is asking parents to go screen-free next week.

The Campaign For a Commercial-Free Childhood, which recently gave the aforementioned iPotty its worst toy of the year award, is calling on families to take part in Screen-Free Week from May 5 to May 11.

According to CFCC, by the time today’s kids are preschoolers, they are already spending an average of 32 hours a week in front of some sort of screen. And while some of what they’re watching or doing may be educational and helpful, the group believes this is still too much time to be spent doing one type of activity.

“There is a dose-response relationship between screen time and health,” explains Deborah Bade Horn, President-elect of the American Society of Bariatric Physicians in a statement. “As screen time is decreased, measures of health like BMI, physical fitness, and self-esteem improve, especially in children. Screen time is also typically sedentary time which causes our muscles to send unhealthy messages to the other cells in our body.”

While you could just untether yourself and your kids from the various screens for a few days, you could use a little bit of that screen time to look at this searchable list of Screen-Free Week-related programs around the country to see if there’s something more interesting than re-watching Frozen with your kids for the umpteenth time.

Want more consumer news? Visit our parent organization, Consumer Reports, for the latest on scams, recalls, and other consumer issues.