FOX Medical: How to curb couch potato kids - Fox 2 News Headlines

FOX Medical: How to curb couch potato kids

Posted: Updated:
ATLANTA -

If you are a parent, you know kids just don't play like they used to. All the new technology out there is making it tough to get them off the sofa, but what can you do with a couch potato kid?

Kids spend an average of four and a half hours a day in front of a screen watching TV, on the computer or playing video games.

It doesn't take a fancy gym or a pricey trainer for kids to get a workout, they just need a place to play.

"Grownups go and we do boot camp, we do things like run and jump, and lift weights. Well that's what kids are doing on the playground, right? They're running up the slide, they're sliding down They're going across monkey bars," says Dr. Stephanie Walsh.

And Dr. Walsh, Medical Director of Child Wellness at Children's Healthcare of Atlanta, says starting at the age of two, kids need about sixty minutes of playtime a day.

"So just take them anywhere they can go and be active, and kids will do it," says Dr. Walsh.

But what can you do with a kid who won't come out and play?


"If they're doing things, like playing video games, well, you know what? You're their parent, and you're in charge of whether or not they get to play video games. So you get to turn them off. And you get to limit screen time.  And you get to suggest outside activities," says Dr. Walsh.

You could negotiate a trade-off such as for every 30 minutes of screen time, 30 minutes of playtime.

"I think that's the best part about working with children, is that they love to play, and they love to play outside. So help your kid find something that they love," says Dr. Walsh.

Walsh says that the key is letting your child choose which way to play.

"So really brainstorm with your kids. Be their cheerleader. Say, hey, what can we do to help you? What do you want to do? Let's try some different classes, I'll go with you," says Walsh.

If you're worried your child isn't getting enough exercise or maybe struggling with a weight problem, Dr. Walsh advises to ask their pediatrician for some help. Children's has a program that involves the entire family in helping kids get healthier.

And sitting down together at dinner, without any screens on, is fantastic. It does more for your children than just provide a healthy meal; it really is a great time for conversation. You talk about school and friends. And it really brings families together in a positive way.

  • Good Day ArchiveMore>>

  • Back to School Jamboree with Hosea Feed The Hungry

    Back to School Jamboree with Hosea Feed The Hungry

    Hosea Feed the Hungry will host their annual Back to School Jamboree on Sunday, July 13, 2014 from 10:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m. at Turner Field. Children will receive a backpack filled with school supplies.

    Hosea Feed the Hungry will host their annual Back to School Jamboree on Sunday, July 13, 2014 from 10:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m. at Turner Field. Children will receive a backpack filled with school supplies.

  • Man bikes 900 miles to help Georgia girl

    Man bikes 900 miles to help Georgia girl

    Wednesday, July 23 2014 9:40 PM EDT2014-07-24 01:40:42 GMT
    Ten time Ironman, Dave Nazaroff recently rode 900 miles on his bicycle...from Nyack, New York...to Georgia. He didn't do it to get in shape, or to win a competition; he did it to raise money for a 11 year old Callie Truelove in Gainesville, Georgia.
    Ten time Ironman, Dave Nazaroff recently rode 900 miles on his bicycle...from Nyack, New York...to Georgia. He didn't do it to get in shape, or to win a competition; he did it to raise money for a 11 year old Callie Truelove in Gainesville, Georgia.
  • 2014 Southern Living inspired home open for tours

    2014 Southern Living inspired home open for tours

    Wednesday, July 23 2014 9:37 AM EDT2014-07-23 13:37:06 GMT
    It's the first of its kind -- and if you're goal is to live a "perfectly Southern" lifestyle, it might be the home for you. The 2014 Southern Living Inspired Home is now open in Toccoa,
    It's the first of its kind -- and if you're goal is to live a "perfectly Southern" lifestyle, it might be the home for you. The 2014 Southern Living Inspired Home is now open in Toccoa, GA at Currahee Club.
Powered by WorldNow

WJBK-TV | Fox 2
16550 West Nine Mile Rd.
Southfield, MI 48075

Main Station: (248) 557-2000
Newsroom: (248) 552-5103

Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Ad Choices