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Child Health Crisis - Technology overuse deals the deathblow to Canadian children

by Cris Rowan
Escalating incidence of poor child physical and mental health in Canada has now reached epidemic proportions. One in three children enter school developmentally vulnerable, one in four are obese or overweight one in five have a diagnosed mental illness , and one in ten are addicted to technology . 3 out of 4 children are sleep deprived (National Sleep Foundation 2016) negatively impacting on mental, physical, social and academic performance. Autism is now 1 in 65 and adhd 1 in 5 for males (CDC 2016). Cancer incidence in teens has risen 25% over the past 38 years . What all these health issues have in common is they are caused by technology overuse , threatening the very sustainability of Canadian life and economy. Managing balance between technology and healthy activity is the first step toward creating sustainable futures for all children. Families, schools and whole communities can work together to increase participation in healthy activity thereby reducing use of technology, to ensure child health and wellness. Form your Balanced Technology Management Foundation Team now, and move your community effectively and safely into the 21st century. 

Cris in the News

Cris Rowan has been cited in this article:

Internet gaming disorder (IGD), one of the common subtypes of internet addiction, is now classified in Section 3 of DSM-5 and is increasingly regarded as a growing health concern in many parts of the world. Consequently, many psychotherapeutic and psychopharmacological approaches have been considered and some research regarding therapeutic strategies has been conducted. However, treatment of IGD is in its early stages and therefore is not yet well established. This article reviews multiple therapeutic modalities including our own treatment model for IGD according to clinical and biological effects, thus providing suggestions for standard treatment strategies. The two main streams are psychopharmacological treatment and cognitive-behavior treatment, and the cognitive-behavior approach includes cognitive reconstruction, psychoeducation, and parenting coach. Many other non-pharmacological treatments are also recommended for personalized treatment of IGD. 

Internet Addiction in Children and Adolescents
Risk Factors, Assessment, and Treatment

By Kimberly S. Young PsyD & Nabuco De Abreu Cristiano PhD

This is the first book to thoroughly examine how early and easy access to the Internet and digital technologies impacts children and adolescents. Experts in the field examine the research that shows the social, cognitive, developmental, and academic problems that can result when children spend excessive time in front of screens. As a whole, the book provides an invaluable resource for those who need to assess, treat, and prevent Internet addiction in children and adolescents. 

Order the book at Springer Publishing Company  here .

Foundation Series Workshop Schedule

Oct. 26, 2017 Whistler, BC
Parent workshop on impact of technology on child development, behaviour and learning sponsored by Whistler Waldorf School.
Contact person: Jen Dodds,
Nov. 6, 2017 Winnipeg, Manitoba
Full day workshop for professionals on impact of technology on child development sponsored by Alloway Therapy Services. 9:00 am to 4:00 pm Canad Inns Polo Park, Winnipeg, MB.
Contact person: Monique Gougeon MSW, 204-788-4100,

Nov. 6, 2017 Winnipeg, Manitoba
Evening workshop for parents on impact of technology on child development sponsored by Alloway Therapy Services. 6:30 to 8:30 pm Canad Inns Polo Park, Winnipeg, MB.
Contact person: Monique Gougeon MSW, 204-788-4100,

Research and News Review

Childhood Development

By Victoria Dunckley M.D. May 14, 2017
Need to remember something or learn something new? Write it by hand.

By Cindy Eckard May 20, 2017  
Seeking artificial validation not only results in addictive, destructive behaviors, it also displaces the very experiences that would otherwise offer us authentic validation.

By Kate Wheeling May 31, 2017
Exercise is as good for your brain as it is for your body, and researchers are just beginning to discover why.

By Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health June 15, 2017
Physical activity among children and teens is lower than previously thought, and, in another surprise finding, young adults after the age of 20 show the only increases in activity over the lifespan.

Social Media, Internet & Mobile Technology

By Melanie Hempe   June 16, 2017
Melanie Hempe, Families Managing Media talks about the reasons why parent's trusted smartphone contracts are not working and what you can do instead! 

By Brett Williams June 8, 2017
More evidence how companies drive our hormones and emotions through social media. These patents increases digital potency of social media.

By CBC News   June 1, 2017
Parents and caregivers of children aged five and younger should not only minimize screen time at home but use it mindfully themselves, according to the Canadian Paediatric Society.

By Melanie Hempe May 31, 2017
The topic of parental controls is one of the hottest topics of today's digital discussions because protecting childhood safety and innocence is a universally accepted core value for all parents.

By Kara Alaimo - June 29, 2017
Seven downsides to the smartphone, including our detachment from lived reality and relationships.

Video by Real Battle Ministries Published June 23, 2017
Romanian doctor explains his approach.

AP News release June 18, 2017
Colorado officials have cleared the language of a proposed ballot measure that would establish the nation's first legal limits on buying smartphones for children.  Backers of the move to forbid the sale of smartphones to children younger than 13 would now need about 300,000 voter signatures for the proposal to make the 2018 ballot.
Video Games & Pornography

By CBC Radio's Ottawa Morning June 10, 2017
It was last summer's hottest fad and was supposed to encourage gamers to venture outdoors with smartphone in hand, searching for strange, invisible creatures. But research shows Pokemon Go didn't exactly create the fitness fever the game promoted.

By Lizette Borreli May 25, 2017  
"Pornosexuals" identify their sexual orientation with porn, but is this so-called preference just the inability to establish intimacy?

By Ryan Avent April/May 2017
As video games get better and job prospects worse, more young men are dropping out of the job market to spend their time in an alternate reality. 

Child & Youth Addictions
By Joanna Walters June 16, 2017
At a cabin in the Washington state woods, the reSTART center helps residents withdraw from technology that has consumed their lives.

By Li, Wen; Garland, Eric L.; McGovern, Patricia; O'Brien, et al. Psychology of Addictive Behaviors, Vol 31(4), Jun 2017, 393-40 
This study evaluated Mindfulness-Oriented Recovery Enhancement (MORE) as a treatment for Internet Gaming Disorder (IGD) and concludes that MORE is a promising treatment option for IGD.

By Sam Cook May 31, 2017  
The ultimate guide to technology and Internet addiction which covers everything from email and social media addiction to smartphone withdrawal.

By Melanie Hemp June 11, 2017
Families Managing Media, guest expert in process  addiction  and certified  counsellor , Erik Goldfield shares the new face of addiction.

By Huu Kim le TEDxAdelaide March 25, 2016
What happens when our children become engrossed in their on-line world and why is so hard to draw them away? 

Education Technology
By Mark Howarth May 15, 2017 
"Children have the right to a safe environment and I think this means adapting technology in schools to wired-only connections and restricting mobile devices."
Wireless Radiation
Catherine E. Kleiber May 19, 2017

The potential for radiation from wireless technology to cause serious biological effects has important implications and necessitates a reevaluation of its near-ubiquitous presence, especially in hospitals and medical facilities.

By Katie Singer May 21, 2017
Introductory-level resources for concerned citizens who want to get informed.
Zone'in Programs

Sedentary, neglected, isolated, and overstimulated, the new millennium child can no longer pay attention and learn. Zone'in Programs are designed by an occupational therapist to enhance child development and learning, ensuring successful futures.

Tech Talks for Therapists   - 5 hour training for educators and therapists; includes Tech Tool Kit.
Tech Talks for Families -  10 half hour sessions for families on tech management; includes Tech Tool Kit.
Zone'in - enhancing attention, learning and self-regulation.
Move'in - teaches children to print, the foundation for literacy.
Unplug'in  - builds skill and confidence in activities other than technology.
Live'in - media literacy guide for home, school and community.

Virtual Child - The terrifying truth about what technology is doing to children
Virtual Child
By Cris Rowan, pediatric occupational therapist.
Virtual Child  documents the impact technology has had on the developing child, and proposes tools and techniques to manage balance between activities children need for growth and success with technology use.  

Need more info? Visit


About the Author
Cris Rowan is a pediatric occupational therapist committed to enhancing child health and academic performance. Well known activist, speaker, sensory specialist and author, Cris is the "Go To" expert on child learning, development and technology overuse. Cris has provided over 200 workshops for health and education professionals, and is currently developing the Creating Sustainable Futures Program for a First Nations Community.
Training & Consultation

Instructor training for Foundation Series Workshops places pediatric occupational therapists on the cutting edge as experts in the field of technology's impact on child development.

Zone'in Training

Innovative team-based approach to manage balance between activities children need to grow and succeed with technology use.

Cris Rowan is now offering private phone/Skype consultations. 

Care to Donate?
Zone'in Programs Inc. and Cris Rowan are seeking your support and assistance to ensure sustainable and productive futures for our children. Find out more about how you can help us!
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6840 Seaview Rd. Sechelt BC V0N3A4 
Tel: 1-888-896-6346
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