To All Families in Hastings and Prince Edward: Power Off and Play! | Hastings Prince Edward Public Health

To All Families in Hastings and Prince Edward: Power Off and Play!

Hastings and Prince Edward Counties / April 3, 2018 – Healthy Kids Community Challenge Hastings Prince Edward is launching the Power Off and Play! initiative to encourage kids and families to build a balanced day that is not filled with screen time.

With all the new technology options and devices, limiting the time that kids spend looking at screens has never been harder. Encouraging active and fun alternatives is critical for their physical health and well-being.

Power Off and Play! is the next phase of the Healthy Kids Community Challenge, which promotes powering off before sleep, during meal and snack time, and encourages physical activity, social interaction, and fun and educational activity choices for children.

Upcoming local programs and activities planned by Healthy Kids Community Challenge Hastings Prince Edward will help families and organizations who work with children find ways to reduce children’s screen time. Some of these activities include:

  • Working with local elementary schools to encourage active and screen-free recess breaks.
  • Sponsoring community screen-free events.
  • Conducting an assessment of local healthy play environments.
  • Working with child care providers to promote active play in young children.

As part of the first phase, Run. Jump. Play. Every Day., Healthy Kids Community Challenge Hastings Prince Edward held workshops to train teachers on the importance of physical literacy in the early years. During the second phase, Water Does Wonders, local organizations applied for water stations to help increase access to water throughout our community. The third phase, Choose to Boost Veggies and Fruit involved activities in local elementary schools to highlight Veggie and Fruit Month and working with the Community Development Council Quinte to increase capacity to offer fresh veggies and fruit at a fraction of the retail cost through the Good Food Box.  

 

Hastings and Prince Edward counties join 44 other communities across Ontario taking part in the Healthy Kids Community Challenge. The Healthy Kids Community Challenge unites communities with a common goal of promoting children’s health through physical activity, healthy eating and other healthy habits.

For more information about the Healthy Kids Community Challenge, please visit www.healthykidsHPE.ca.

QUOTES

“Our world is so technologically-connected, that we sometimes forget too much screen time can have lasting negative effects on our children’s development.  Encouraging our kids to unplug and engage in more physical and social activities will help improve their overall physical and emotional health and well-being.”

—Dr. Helena Jaczek, Minister of Health and Long-Term Care

“Physical activity and social interaction are important to the development of happy and healthy children.  Our government supports programs that encourage our kids to move and play, while reducing the negative impacts of too much screen time.”

—John Fraser, Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Health and Long-Term Care

“Power Off and Play! is all about helping families and communities build a balanced day for their children filled with active play, learning and time spent with families and friends.”

—Emily Bray, Healthy Kids Community Challenge Local Project Manager

QUICK FACTS

  • Research shows too much screen time for children can have negative outcomes for early development, physical and psychological health, and can interfere with important daily routines making it difficult for children to stay healthy.
  • Hastings and Prince Edward is among 45 communities selected to take part in the Healthy Kids Community Challenge.
  • The Healthy Kids Community Challenge Hastings Prince Edward is receiving up to $1,125,000 from Ontario to fund local community projects.
  • The Canadian Society for Exercise and the Canadian Paediatric Society’s recommended screen time limits:
    • Under 2 years of age - no screen time
    • 2-4 years – less than 1 hour of recreational screen time per day
    • 5-17 years – no more than 2 hours of recreational screen time per day

LEARN MORE

 

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Media Contact:

Emily Bray
Healthy Kids Community Challenge Local Project Manager
Hastings Prince Edward Public Health
Phone: 613-966-5500, ext. 371
Email: ebray@hpeph.ca