Senator John Flanagan (2nd Senate District) and Assemblyman Charles Lavine (13th Assembly District) recently presented a New York State Legislative Resolution to The Early Years Institute (EYI) proclaiming April 29 – May 5 “Screen-Free Week” in New York State. This week is designed to help protect today’s “plugged in” kids from the problems associated with spending too much time on computers and other types of electronic devices, and to increase awareness of the downside of screen overuse. The effort is aimed at helping all young children improve their health and their success in school and life.
The two legislators presented the resolution to EYI at an event at CA Technologies Headquarters, in Islandia.
According to EYI, preschool children (ages 2 to 5) spend an average of 32 hours a week on screen media and children ages 8 to 18 spend 7.5 hours a day using devices with screens. This can lead to an increase in childhood obesity, sleep disturbances, attention span issues and a decrease in children’s social and emotional development. In addition, toddler screen time is associated with problems in later childhood, including lower math scores and school achievement.
“It is so important that we constantly encourage our children to look past their computers and video games to experience all that life has to offer. Through this effort, The Early Years Institute and CA Technologies are providing an opportunity for both children and parents to realize that while technology can enhance our lives, we all have to continue to stimulate our bodies, hearts, minds and souls in a variety of ways. I am proud to join with Assemblyman Lavine to play a part in this effort and encourage everyone to turn off that screen,” stated Senator Flanagan.
Assemblymen Lavine adds, “The resolution helps in our efforts as we emphasize the benefits gained by families and children by disconnecting from screens and engaging in one-on-one conversations with family and friends as well as helping them to become good citizens.”
According to EYI’s President Dana Friedman, Ed.D., “As school becomes more technological, we have a collective responsibility to assure that children spend less time with technology at home and more time engaged in activities that benefit their healthy growth and development.”