Healthy Kids Com­mu­nity Chal­lenge wants kids to power off

Kenora Daily Miner and News - - LOCAL NEWS - KATH­LEEN CHARLEBOIS KCharlebois@post­media.com

A fund­ing pro­gram is en­cour­ag­ing ser­vice providers to make sure young kids aren’t stuck be­hind screens.

Ja­clyn Shewchuk, the lo­cal pro­ject man­ager for the Healthy Kids Com­mu­nity Chal­lenge at the Red Lake North­west­ern Health Unit (NWHU) branch, said there have been 19 ap­pli­ca­tions for up to $3,000 in fund­ing from or­ga­ni­za­tions in the re­gion.

“We’re fo­cus­ing on re­duc­ing seden­tary or recre­ational use of screen time in chil­dren age zero to 12,” Shewchuk said, and added that the fund­ing will as­sist or­ga­ni­za­tions in cre­at­ing a pol­icy that re­duces screen time in their agen­cies as well as util­i­ties that will pro­mote re­duced screen time.

Shewchuk said the good thing about the “Power Off and Play” theme is that it’s al­len­com­pass­ing, and the time spent sit­ting in front of a screen can be re­duced through things like artis­tic ac­tiv­i­ties, cook­ing classes, phys­i­cal ex­er­cise and mu­sic.

She also said the rec­om­mended amount of screen time is none at all for chil­dren un­der two, less than one hour for chil­dren age two to four, and no more than two hours of recre­ational screen time for chil­dren age five to 17.

Ac­cord­ing to a Feb. 1 press re­lease from the NWHU, the chal­lenge will pro­mote staying within the rec­om­mended screen time lim­its, putting com­put­ers and smart­phones away dur­ing im­por­tant times of the day, such as dur­ing meals and bed­time, and re­plac­ing screen time with other phys­i­cal, so­cial and ed­u­ca­tional ac­tiv­i­ties.

To reg­is­ter, peo­ple can go to www.north­west­strong.ca/healthykids and click on “Power Off and Play” un­der the pro­gram themes. The dead­line to sub­mit a pro­posal is Fri­day, Feb. 16.

FILE PHOTO/DAILY MINER AND NEWS

Kinder­garten stu­dents Ne­vaeh De­laronde (left) and Marissa Bryan stir things up in the Pope John Paul II School out­door class­room on Fri­day, March 31, 2017. The Healthy Kids Com­mu­nity Chal­lenge is en­cour­ag­ing re­gional or­ga­ni­za­tions to im­ple­ment a pol­icy that would re­duce chil­dren's screen time and pro­mote phys­i­cal and so­cial ac­tiv­ity.

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