FOX Medical: How to curb couch potato kids

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.

  • Good Day Atlanta

    Pike Nurseries: Gardening in small spaces

    Pike Nurseries: Gardening in small spaces

    Friday, August 22 2014 9:00 AM EDT2014-08-22 13:00:20 GMT
    Sometimes less can be more! A small space shouldn't limit your garden or your imagination—hanging baskets, containers, window boxes, espaliered fruit trees….they're all great ways to made a big gardening impact – even on the most limited high rise balcony!
    Sometimes less can be more! A small space shouldn't limit your garden or your imagination—hanging baskets, containers, window boxes, espaliered fruit trees….they're all great ways to made a big gardening impact – even on the most limited high rise balcony!
  • Kennesaw celebrates BBQ festival

    Kennesaw celebrates BBQ festival

    Friday, August 22 2014 8:52 AM EDT2014-08-22 12:52:25 GMT
    Don't worry...that incredible aroma of smoke-cooked BBQ isn't just in your imagination. It's coming from Kennesaw, where the grills are fired up for an annual tradition.
    Don't worry...that incredible aroma of smoke-cooked BBQ isn't just in your imagination. It's coming from Kennesaw, where the grills are fired up for an annual tradition.
Powered by WorldNow
Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | New Terms of Service What's new | Ad Choices