Screen Tips for Tots - Early overuse of screen technology can cause permanent damage in toddlers;
Part one in the Screen Tips series
By Cris Rowan

Screen Tips for Tots is the first of a research referenced series on the impact of screen technologies on child body and brain development. Written by Cris Rowan, pediatric occupational therapist, biologist, international speaker and author of the book "Virtual Child", Screen Tips will provide parents, educators and clinicians with research evidence which supports regulated and graduated use of screen technologies with children. Foundations for optimizing body and brain development across the age span from 0-18 years are discussed to help readers best understand the impact of screen technologies at different stages in development, and a variety of home, school and community initiatives are proposed to create sustainable futures for all children. The first article in Screen Tips series called Screen Tips for Tots focuses on the 0-3 years age group and is directed toward parents, daycare and preschool educators, and early intervention clinicians.

Cris In the News


1.5-hour webinar presented by Cris Rowan pediatric occupational therapist, biologist, international speaker, and author of "Virtual Child - The terrifying truth about what technology is doing to children" for parents of teens participating in the 2019 Camp Unplugged in California.

Feature Program for Teens

Camp Unplugged 2019 - What a success!

Michael and Christie Walsh hosted their first 4-week Camp Unplugged for 6th to 12th graders in California this year at the Palomar Christian Conference Center which was a resounding success! Teens from all over North America joined together to unplug from screens and explore new and challenging activites. See the teen compilation video of the 2019 Camp Unplugged! For additional information, newsletter sign-up, or to register a camper for either the winter (Jan. 3-5, '20) or the summer (July 5-Aug. 2, '20) of 2020 Camp Unplugged, please visit the Camp Unplugged website or contact Christie Walsh, Founder of Camp Unplugged, President of Get Unplugged LLC, 858-225-8535, .

See the exceptional   Parent Webinars here! which include videos from the following experts in the field of screens and kids:

Zone'in Programs Inc. for Sale!


Zone'in Programs Inc. is a trademarked corporation, offering home, school and clinic-based educational products for pre-school and elementary aged children to enhance child development and learning. Zone'in Programs include Zone'in to enhance self-regulation, Move'in to improve printing skill, and Unplug'in to build confidence and competence in non-screen activities.


Read here for additional information or contact Cris Rowan at

Foundation Series Workshop Schedule

October 9, 2019 - Dryden, Ontario
Workshop for early years service providers on impact of screens on children sponsored by Kenora District Best Start Network.
Contact person: Chris Maltais, (807) 223-2100

October 9, 2019 - Dryden, Ontario
Evening workshop for parents on impact of screens on children sponsored by Kenora District Best Start Network.
Contact person: Chris Maltais, (807) 223-2100

October 10, 2019 - Dryden, Ontario
Tech Talks for K-12 students.
Contact person: Chris Maltais, (807) 223-2100

October 26, 2019 - Courtney BC
Workshop for early intervention providers on balancing screens with healthy activities sponsored by Vancouver Island Center for Child Resource and Referral.
Contact person:  Catherine Carter Clark 746-4136

Nov. 6-8, 2019 - Iquique, Chile
Guest speaker at the Congress of the Chilean Society of Psychiatry and Neurology of Childhood and Adolescence.
Contact person: Dr. Andrea Aguirre,

Feb. 21, 2020 - Vancouver, BC
Two workshops for special education teachers on improved attention/learning with movement and nature, and negative impacts of technology on children and youth sponsored by Teachers of Inclusive Education - BC conference .
Contact person:  Robinson, , (250) 542-3331

Other Workshops & Webinars

Families Managing Media 2019
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

Check out how to get children moving in daycare, pre-school and school environments with Active for Life's physical literacy curriculum .
By Michelle D. Guerrero et al for Pediatrics on August 2019
Hawthorne Hill Academy is a new school in Moncton, N.B. But it doesn't look like a normal school. There are no smart boards or computers. Instead, there is a firepit, trees and a stream.

By  Mingli Liu , Lang Wu ,and Shuqiao Yao 1 Br J Sports Med . 2016 Oct; 50(20): 1252-1258
Meta-analysis of screen use shows non-linear "U" curve dose response: 1 hr/day - 12% reduced risk of depression; 0 and 3 hrs/day - 19% increased risk; 5 hrs/day - 80% increased risk.

By William Softky for Fine Line on July 26, 2019
The human nervous system needs to calibrate itself using natural patterns of matter and energy while screens necessarily provide unnatural patterns which severely damage the calibration process.

Screentime and Your Child's Brain - a 1.5-hour webinar
By Dr. Victoria Dunckley, MD and author of Reset Your Child's Brain, Paula Poundstone, and Melanie Hempe, founder of Families Managing Media

Mental Health
By Eya Mist-Roguarrd et al for JAMA Psychiatry on Aug. 21, 2019
Study findings suggest that differences between individuals with autism and those without the diagnosis have decreased over time and that possible changes in the definition of autism from a narrowly defined and homogenous population toward an inclusive and heterogeneous population may reduce our capacity to build mechanistic models of the condition.
By Numata-Uematsu, Yurika et al, Journal of Medical Investigation, Vol. 65, 2018
His symptoms improved dramatically after he was prevented from using all media and encouraged to play in other ways. After this treatment, he would make eye contact and talked about playing with their parents. Simply avoiding the media and playing with others can changed the behavior of a child with ASD-like symptoms. It is important to understand the symptoms caused by attachment disorder and early media exposure.
By Jonathon Rothwell for the NY Times on July 25, '19
There's new evidence that viewing habits can affect your thinking, political preferences, even cognitive ability; d ecline in I.Q. scores reported secondary to access to cable television, which also coincided with a sharp decline in reading.
By Professor Russell M. Viner et al for The Lancet - Child and Adolescent Health Journal on Aug. 13, 2019
Secondary analyses of publicly available data from the Our Futures study, a nationally representative, longitudial study of 12,866 young people from 13 years to 16 years in England. The exposure considered was the frequency of social media use over 2 years. Very frequent use of social media increased from 34·4% to 61·9% in boys, and 51·4% to 75·4% in girls. Very frequent social media use predicted a high General Health Questionnaire 12 score indicating psychological distress.
CBSN Originals; a documentary released August 2019
Kid influencers on social media attract the attention and fascination of audiences far and wide. But the huge growth of influencer marketing on platforms like Instagram and YouTube - expected to be a $6.5 billion to $8 billion industry by the end of 2019 - raises a world of new questions and concerns about the lack of oversight and the possible long-term impact on children's lives. Questions arise regarding is this business child exploitation...child labor?
By Tom Banse for OPB News on Aug. 4, 2019
Dozens of Pacific Northwest doctors are teaming up with a national non-profit to write a different kind of prescription. Their "park prescriptions" direct patients with obesity, anxiety, depression or certain chronic conditions to spend more time outside.

Screen Addiction
Daily Sabah Health on June 26, 2019
"The internet, which has reached every sphere of our lives, has become an open prison that confines people with the rapid spread of social media platforms used to attain information," Ünay said. "The internet has shown us that it is not as innocent as it appears to be, being at the forefront of technology addiction," he warned.
By Abigail Clukey for NPR News on August 3, 2019
Freshman Sen. Josh Hawley, R-Mo., introduced a bill on Tuesday - the Social Media Addiction Reduction Technology, or SMART, Act - that would ban "addictive" social media features.

By Domoff, S. E., et al in Psychology of Popular Media Culture, 8(1), 2-11.
These studies support the use of the Problematic Media Use Measure (PMUM-SF) as a measure of screen media addiction in children aged 4 through 11 years old.
By Andrea Petersen for NY Times on Aug. 6, 2019
It can be hard for children to move on from screen time, but it doesn't always have to be a battle.
By Andrew McKirdy on Aug. 13, 2019 for The Japan Times
A hikikomori is defined by the Health, Labor and Welfare Ministry as someone who has remained isolated at home for at least six consecutive months without going to school or work, and rarely interacts with people from outside their own immediate family.
Gaming Addiction - a documentary
By Bryant Gumbel with Real Sports - 15 min. documentary on gaming addiction in July 2019
Profiles of addicted gamers and their families that struggle to help them.
On July 7, 20919 for BBC Newsround
Official figures for last year show that over 140,000 young people in Korea were addicted to the internet. As a result, there are many centres across South Korea where teenagers can go to be treated for this. Schools have also introduced special programmes to try to stop children from becoming addicted in the first place. Newsround visits an internet addiction camp.
On Nov. 21, 2019 for BBC Newsround
Children as young as 11 in the UK have problems with gambling, while almost half a million kids have admitted to betting regularly say the Gambling Commission. The Commission, who produced the research, say children who have problems with gambling, between the age of 11 and 16, has risen to more than 50,000 in two years.

Videogames and Violence

UK Commons Select Committee, Sept. 12, '19

Call to regulate video game 'loot boxes' under gambling law and ban their sale to children among measures needed to protect players, say MPs. 'Lack of honesty and transparency' reported among representatives of some games and social media companies in giving evidence.

By Melanie Hempe, RN and founder of Families Managing Media
Mean. Angry. Depressed. Violent. These are words that a recent group of parents used to describe their sons, ages 8-15, who are struggling with video game overuse. "I'm afraid of my son." These parents of seasoned gamers can tell you stories of fists through the wall, controllers through the screen, and outbursts of foul language. One mom even shares the time her 16-year-old son put her in a choke hold on the floor when she told him to get off his video game.
By Drew Harwell on Aug. 4, 2019 for The Washington Post
"Once again, a terrorist used 8chan to spread his message as he knew people would save it and spread it," Fredrick Brennan, who founded 8chan in 2013 but stopped working with the site's owners in December, told The Washington Post. "The board is a receptive audience for domestic terrorists."
By Chang JH, et al. JAMA Network Open. 2019
Pairs of 10-year-old children played or watched 1 of 3 versions of the game Minecraft for 20 minutes: (1) violent with guns, (2) violent with swords, or (3) nonviolent. The pairs of children were then placed in a different room and were told they could play with toys and games for 20 minutes. A cabinet in the room contained 2 hidden disabled handguns with counters for trigger pulls. Among the 76 children who played the video game that included gun violence, 47 children (61.8%) touched a handgun. Among the 74 children who played the video game that included sword violence, 42 (56.8%) touched a handgun. Among the 70 children who played the nonviolent video game, 31 (44.3%) touched a handgun. Study concluded that exposure to violent video games increases children's dangerous behavior around firearms.
By Cyrus Farivar for NBC News on Aug. 21, 2019
NBC News was able to find more than 100 accounts that featured extremist and racist content in child's video game platform Roblox, a popular video game allowed in many schools.

Screens in Schools

By Nancy Bailey for her Education Website on August 7, 2019
Schools that fail to encourage students to mingle might enforce orderly behavior, but they're ignoring a student's need for connecting. It's abusive not to give students, especially young students, frequent breaks in school.
By Brooke MacKenzie for Edutopia on July 2, 2019
Teaching young students how to write by hand before moving onto keyboarding can help improve their reading fluency as well.
By Horowitz-Kraus et al. Acta Paediatrica, Vol. 107, 685-693; 2017
Screen time and time spent reading showed different effects on functional connectivity between the visual word form area and language, visual and cognitive control regions of the brain. These findings underscore the importance of children reading to support healthy brain development and literacy and limiting screen time.
By Tim Cavanaugh for Real Clear Investigations on July 17, 2019
Frank discussion about moderating use of edtech in schools.
By Reboot Foundation, 2018
An analysis of the connection between digital devices and learning found a weak link between technology and outcomes.
By MidAmerica Nazarene University, Professional and Graduate Studies, 2019
A survey of 1000 high school teachers regarding education technology in the classroom.
By Allison Jones for CBC News on Mar. 12, 2019
So me schools already have similar policies, but the province will issue a directive to all public schools for the 2019-20 school year, government sources told The Canadian Press. How to enforce the ban would be up to individual boards and schools.
By Ontario Education Govt - Summer 2019 Publication
During the provincial consultation on education reform in fall 2018, 97% of parents, students and educators expressed the view that there should be some sort of restriction on the use of cellphones at school.
By Jennifer Yoon on Sept. 4, 2019 for CBC News
Students at St. Thomas High School on Montreal's West Island have new restrictions on cellphone use this year that require them to turn off their phones and put them in their lockers all day.
ABC News on Aug. 19, 2019
The Yondr pouches have been used at concerts and shows, but San Mateo High School is the largest public school in the country to use it for students. Each classroom has an unlocking device. Students put their phones into their pouch in the morning and a teacher unlocks it, at the end of the day...and guess what? The students like it!.
Daily Mail Sept. 8, 2019
Mobile phones are not prohibited on school grounds but are required to be switched off throughout class time, lunch, and recess or will face confiscation.
By Roxanna Marachi for the 2018 Digital Media and Developing Minds National Conference
Content analyses of publications promoting emerging education technologies showed 0% of the content included language that signified attention or concern about the impacts of screen-based devices or new technologies on student health.

Wireless Radiation

By Professor Om Gandhi for Institute for Electrical and Electronics Engineers Journal on Feb. 19, 2019
Examined data from 450 cell phones and found the iPhone can emit 11 times over the US FCC limit. 
By Sam Roe for the Chicago Tribune on Aug. 21, 2019
Testing discovered that radiofrequency radiation exposure from the iPhone 7 - one of the most popular smartphones ever sold - measured over the legal safety limit and more than double what Apple reported to federal regulators from its own testing.

Directs Oregon Health Authority to review peer-reviewed, independently funded scientific studies of health effect of exposure to microwave radiation, particularly exposure that results from use of wireless network technologies in schools and to report results of review to interim committee of Legislative Assembly related to education not later than January 2, 2021.
Question by Cece Doucette, Technology Safety Educator regarding radiofrequency radiation garnered response from Senator Ed Markey reporting a study he commissioned with the National Cancer Institute 15-20 years ago on impact of wireless technologies that found RF accelerates cancer.

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.

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.
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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6840 Seaview Rd. Sechelt BC V0N3A4 
Tel: 1-888-896-6346
Fax: 1-877-896-6346
© Zone'in Programs Inc. 2019