BOSTON, May 21, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Boston Children's Hospital's Center on Media and Child Health (CMCH) today released the "Family Digital Wellness Guide," a free interactive handbook of essential evidence-based "Protips" for parents struggling to manage their children's relationships with smartphones, tablets, laptops, gaming platforms and television.
The guide was developed by leading experts on the faculties of Boston Children's Hospital, Harvard Medical School, and Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. Research from these three institutions informs the comprehensive new booklet, which offers succinct, easy-to-digest, science-based guidance for raising happy, healthy, and caring children in today's digital environment.
"Parents and teachers were already concerned about the screen media their kids were using and how they were using them, but life in pandemic lockdown has amplified those fears," said Dr. Michael Rich, MD, MPH, founder and director of CMCH. "Our children's health and development are too important to act on fear or opinions. The Family Digital Wellness Guide provides practical solutions based on scientific research that will help us all raise healthy, motivated, and kind children."
The Family Digital Wellness Guide tackles perennial questions like When do I give my child a cell phone? How do I avoid making screens become 'forbidden fruit'? How do I get my kids to put down their smartphones and stop procrastinating?
Answers to questions like these are even more important today, as families huddle together, distancing themselves from school, workplaces and playgrounds. In fact, stay-at-home guidelines raise new questions like Do the rules change when everyone's stuck in the house for months on end? How can we make remote learning work? Is connecting through video chat or video gaming a healthy substitute for socializing with friends?
The comprehensive Family Digital Wellness Guide provides a quick overview of specific stages of development – from infancy and toddlerhood through the tween and teen years – explaining how children at each stage interact with media and how that interaction affects their well-being.
The guide includes information on topics like sleep, mental health, and cyberbullying, and how to detect warning signs of problematic interactive media use in your child. Research is translated into practical "Protips" for optimizing your child's health and development. Finally, there are Ice Breakers for starting tough conversations on delicate subjects.
The Family Digital Wellness Guide is made possible through the generous support of Facebook, Harvard Pilgrim Health Care, Optum, the Joan Ganz Cooney Center at Sesame Workshop, Noggin, Roblox and others. These supporters have come together in a united effort to help parents and children live well and be well in a digital world. Please visit here to learn more.
To download and take an interactive tour of the free guide, please visit:
About Boston Children's Hospital
Boston Children's Hospital is ranked the #1 children's hospital in the nation by U.S. News & World Report and is the primary pediatric teaching affiliate of Harvard Medical School. Home to the world's largest research enterprise based at a pediatric medical center, its discoveries have benefited both children and adults since 1869. Today, 3,000 researchers and scientific staff, including 9 members of the National Academy of Sciences, 21 members of the National Academy of Medicine and 12 Howard Hughes Medical Investigators comprise Boston Children's research community. Founded as a 20-bed hospital for children, Boston Children's is now a 415-bed comprehensive center for pediatric and adolescent health care. For more, visit our Discoveries blog and follow us on social media @BostonChildrens, @BCH_Innovation, Facebook and YouTube.
About the Center on Media and Child Health
The Center on Media and Child Health (CMCH) at Boston Children's Hospital (BCH) is an academic research center whose mission is to educate and empower children and those who care for them to create and consumer media in ways that optimize children's health and development. For more, visit the Center's website and follow us on social media, @cmch_boston, Instagram, Facebook and YouTube