Healthy Living: Kids on winter break

Healthy Living

(WHTM) — Many kids are enjoying winter break — and are probably having moments of boredom, too. So what can parents do to help keep them entertained?

“Lately, I have been hearing a lot of kids saying how much playing video games is their favorite activity, so I would like to try to see that shift back to them actually doing something active rather than being passive and sitting in front of a TV or playing video games,” Dr. Gina Robinson, Cleveland Clinic Children’s pediatrician, said.

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Robinson says there are plenty of other options. If you live in a colder climate where there’s snow, you can build a snowman, have a snowball fight, or go skiing or sledding. Other ideas include going to the library or taking a walk in the park. You could also do arts and crafts or bake cookies.

Many kids got video or computer games for Christmas, games which they’re probably going to want to play, but Robinson says screen time really should be limited.

“I would try to set limits and boundaries before the games even come out and say, ‘This is how much time we have for games.’ If you’d like to let them earn a few extra minutes by doing chores or tasks around the house, that’s another way to make them feel like they’re able to get more time. But we really don’t want to just have unlimited game time all day,” Robinson said.

According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, media use for children under the age of 2 is not recommended. Children older than that should be limited to only two hours a day.

Robinson says parents shouldn’t feel bad if they go over that time, but it is important not to make a habit of it.

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