From the Allegheny County Department of Human Services:

1320683_lcd_monitor_The Allegheny County Department of Human Services will join thousands of schools, libraries and community groups nationwide in a coordinated effort to encourage millions of Americans to turn off televisions, computers and video games from April 18-24 and turn on the world around them. Screen-Free Week is a chance for children to spend more time with friends and family reading, playing, pursuing hobbies and being more physically active.

“Screen-Free Week is a much-needed opportunity to remind children and families of the alternatives to allowing the screen media to dominate our lives,” said Glenna Wilson, DHS Office of Community Services Safe Start coordinator. “We hope this awareness week will encourage everyone to make screen-free time a significant part of their lives so they can rediscover the joys of life disconnected from technology.”

On average, preschool children spend more than four and a half hours a day consuming screen media, while older children spend more than seven hours a day, including multi-tasking. Excessive screen time is linked to significant problems for children, including childhood obesity, poor school performance, sleep disturbances and problems with attention span.

Screen-Free Week (formerly TV-Turnoff) is coordinated by the Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood, a national advocacy organization devoted to reducing the impact of commercialism on children. Since the week’s founding in 1994, it has been celebrated by millions of children and their families worldwide.

For more information, visit www.alleghenycounty.us/dhs/screen-free-week2011.aspx.

For national information, visit www.screenfree.org.