According to the Canadian Pediatric Society (2019), 75 per cent of parents are concerned with how much time their children are spending on social media and state that 36 per cent of their 10- to 13-year-olds are on devices for more than three hours per day.
Citing that statistic, the Saskatchewan government is encouraging children and teens to “Take A Break” from social media and screen time.
The new public awareness campaign is to support mental and physical well-being notes Education Minister Dustin Duncan.
“Through this campaign, we want to remind children, teens and adults alike that it’s important from time to time to take a step away from their screens and find a healthy lifestyle balance.”
Officials point to more research showing that excessive screen time can negatively impact mental health, healthy sleep habits, self-esteem and result in lost quality social connections with friends and family.
The “Take a Break” campaign will help educate parents, caregivers, children, teens and the community about the importance of purposeful and healthy use of digital technology, recognizing the signs of too much screen time and choosing healthy alternatives to dependance on digital technology.
The province has set up the “Take A Break” website with information about the warning signs of too much screen time, how this impacts children and teens, tips on alternatives to screen time and how to create a healthy balance.
Additional tips, videos and information will be added in the future.