By Cris Rowan

Research regarding screen use in the early years is revealing significant changes to brain and body development, necessitating immediate public health education interventions. Understanding how the brain and body develop in relation to a child's environment is key in understand the profound causal and associative relationship between screens and child health. This article will profile three critical components to consider when evaluating screen impact including content, duration, and early exposure. Proposed initiatives follow Balanced Technology Management (BTM) frame of reference where parents and teachers strive to manage balance between critical factors for optimal child development and growth, with screen use. BTM interventions will be triaged based on child developmental age, and will focus on 3 target areas: home, schools (including daycares and preschools), and community. 

Foundation Series Workshop Schedule

October 15-18, 2018 - Long Island, New York
Digital Media and Developing Minds - second national congress and Exposition by  Children AND Screens: Institute of Digital Media and Child Development and Cold Spring Harbour Laboratory.

November 15 and 17, 2018 - Maple Ridge, BC
Workshops for early childhood educators and health professionals on impact of technology on children sponsored by Ridge Meadows Early Child Development Committee.
Contact person: Roberta O'Brien, 604-467-6055,

April 17, 2019 - Prince Rupert, BC
Evening workshop for parents on impact of screens on children sponsored by Prince Rupert School District No 52.
Contact person: Johanna Larson,

April 18, 2019 - Prince Rupert, BC
Workshop on impact of screens on children  sponsored by Prince Rupert School District No 52.
Contact person: Johanna Larson,

Other Workshops

Families Managing Media 2018
The Screen Solution Workshops will leave you feeling equipped with the tools needed to help you reset your child's screen habits. From video games to smartphones, we'll show you how to make practical changes in your day-to-day life with proven strategies and replacement activities to establish a balanced screen use at different ages.

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Research and News Review
Childhood Development

By The Associated Press April 26, 2018
YouTube is overhauling its kid-focused video app to give parents the option of letting humans, not computer algorithms, select what shows their children can watch in response to complaints that the YouTube Kids app has repeatedly failed to filter out disturbing content. 

By Amina Zafar April 24, 2018
150 minutes of activity each week is beneficial, but doing less still has positive effects.

Social Media, Internet & Mobile Technology

By Ramona Pringle April 27, 2018
Concern grows that too much screen time can damage adults' health.

By Arielle Pardes May 9, 2018
Google's new digital wellness features are "a great first step towards building Humane Technology."

By KC Dochtermann August 6, 2017
'Generation Screen' the first generation that was born and raised fully immersed in the digital experience of multiple screens at their fingertips.

By Markham Heid May 16, 2018 Time Health
The device's ability to grab and stranglehold our attention with an endless stream of distractions is it causing more harm than good?

By Screen Ageers
Research shows that middle schoolers do better with phones away during school hours. This movement is giving you-parents, teachers, school leaders, and concerned individuals-tools so that you can go to your school and help institute policies where phones are put away.

Published online in Moneycontrol April 17, 2018
The study found thousands of kid-targeted apps were collecting data from the device, some including GPS location and personal information.

By Melissa Locker April 24, 2018
By 2020,  the country plans to give all its 1.4. billion citizens a personal score, based on how they behave. Citizens are being scored on things like whether they pay their taxes on time to how they cross the street to what they post online.

YouTube Video by Darren Maclean January 8, 2018
One of the biggest dangers your career is distraction. Every day people pay attention to what won't make them successful and they fail to pay attention to what will.

By Haley Sweetland Edwards April 12, 2018
Most tech entrepreneurs, are trying to build the next big thing that will go viral, Boundless Mind's mission is almost the opposite. The company wants to disrupt America's addiction to technology. 

Video Games & Pornography

By Ian Browne May 10,2018
Red Sox David Price doesn't believe his hobby of playing video games, and in particular the increasingly-popular "Fortnite," has anything to do with the ailment that caused numbness in his left hand.

By Nellie Bowles May 2, 2018
Video games are beginning their takeover of the real world.  Across North America this year, companies are turning malls, movie theaters, storefronts and parking garages into neighborhood esports arenas.

By Micah O. Mazurek, Christopher R. Engelhardt May 2, 2013
Boys with ASD spend much more time playing video games than do boys with (Typical Development) TD, and boys with ASD and ADHD are at greater risk for problematic video game use than are boys with TD.

By Jennifer A MacMullin, Yona Lunsky, Jonathan A Weiss, February 18, 2015
Individuals with autism spectrum disorder were reported to use certain electronics more often in the last month and on an average day, and had greater compulsive Internet and video game use than individuals without autism spectrum disorder. Across both samples, males used video games more often than females. Compared to parents of individuals without autism spectrum disorder, parents of individuals with autism spectrum disorder were significantly more likely to report that electronics use was currently having a negative impact.

By Micah O. Mazurek, Paul T. Shattuck, Mary Wagner, Benjamin P. Cooper December 8, 2011
The majority of youths with ASD (64.2%) spent most of their free time using non-social media (television, video games), while only 13.2% spent time on social media (email, internet chatting). Compared with other disability groups (speech/language impairments, learning disabilities, intellectual disabilities), rates of non-social media use were higher among the ASD group, and rates of social media use were lower.

By Micah O. Mazurek, Christopher R. Engelhardt Feb 2013
The results revealed that problematic video game use was significantly correlated with inattention and oppositional behavior.

Youths who watched 3 or more hours of television per day were at elevated risk for subsequent attention problems and were the least likely to receive post secondary education.

By Ryan Avert 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. Is this the beginning of something big?

By Jamie Rigg May 3, 2017
One of the most headline-grabbing facets of the UK's Digital Economy Act is a new obligation for websites hosting pornographic and similar adult content to verify the age of visitors.

Child & Youth Addictions
By Project ECHO
Free video-conference for Primary Care Providers working in Ontario, Canada on technology use in children and youth - June 5, 2018 6.:00 - 7:00 p.m.

By Baxter L. M. Adams, Vasilis Stavropoulos, Tyrone L. Burleigh, et al. January 30, 2018
Influence of family cohesion on IGD.

Wireless Radiation
YouTube Video Published November 24, 2015
Dr. Toril Jelter treats children and adults with electrohypersensitivity. She discusses her clinical experience with autism and improved and at times dramatic behavioral changes in many of her autistic/ADHD patients related to reducing electromagnetic radiation in the home and environment.

By Simon Hill October 13, 2015
Quanta Monitor is a free Android app that measures the SAR (Specific Absorption Rate) output, power density, and cumulative exposure to radiofrequency emissions from your phone. Quanta Guard takes things a step further by automatically cutting off your data connection if safe SAR limits are exceeded.

Senator Julian Cyr's two bills that give the public the right to know the manufacturers' fine print says to keep wireless devices off the body. Click here for letter of support.

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.  

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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. 

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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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