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HLT 111 - Health and the Young Child - Textbook

Module 4 image

small child interacting with icons and images on a computer screenA young child uses a computer to learn his colors (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Christina Bennett)


It could be argued that active play is so central to child development that it should be included in the very definition of childhood”.   –American Academy of Pediatrics
According to a study by the Center for Cybersafety and Education (2016), almost three in four kids have been given a cell phone, about two in four have access to a tablet and close to half have a computer in their bedroom.  

Government agencies and educational associations have a responsibility to help parents and early childhood programs to ensure the safety and security of children in the digital world. To this end The Children's Internet Protection Act (CIPA) was enacted by Congress in 2000 to address concerns about children's access to harmful content over the Internet.  The CIPA requires that schools and libraries use Internet filters and implement other measures to protect children from harmful online content as a condition for the receipt of certain federal funding. 

A large body of research makes it abundantly clear that infants, toddlers, and young children learn best through interactions with the people in their environment when all of their senses are in use.  Real world, hands-on activities such as gardening, cooking and woodworking support children’s creative play where-as screen-time eliminates creativity.   

In early childhood, the developing brain benefits the most when children are talked to, read to, and played with.  Children thrive when they are given opportunities to engage meaningfully with the adults and peers in their surroundings.

A number of studies have established a causal relationship between digital media exposure and obesity in children and adolescents.  Screen media exposure leads to obesity “through increased eating while viewing; exposure to high-calorie, low-nutrient food and beverage marketing that influences children’s preferences, purchase requests, consumption habits; and reduced sleep duration” (Robinson et al, 2017).  

Module 4: Promoting Smart Living for Children in the Digital World consists of Chapters 13: The Use of Technology and Media in Early Childhood and Chapter 14: Physical Education and physical activity for the young child.