Bill Aims to Study How Technology and Media Affect Kids - FOX 5 KRBK is Springfield MO source for News and Weather

Bill Aims to Study How Technology and Media Affect Kids

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(Springfield, Mo.) Children today encounter and utilize technology constantly both at home and in school. Between cell phones, video games and television, all now play a formative role in many children's developments,.

That's why Missouri's Senator Roy Blunt along with a group of lawmakers are pushing for more research.

Our world is overrun by technology. While technology has aided the human race with many advancements and conveniences, it also presents with some unfortunate consequences for children.

"It’s wonderful that we’re in an era where technology is getting better and better making our life easier, but unfortunately like with anything else our there are drawbacks especially with children cause their brains are still forming," explains Dr. Salvador Ceniceros, Psychiatrist, Jordan Valley Community Health Center.

Dr. Ceniceros says screen time is a scoring hot button issue between parents and their children: kids can't seem to get enough while parents struggle to keep it under control.

"Technology is insidious. It’s going to be there. It’s going to get more and more as time progresses. We’re not going to be able to stop that."

That's why a Bipartisan group of senators including Senator Blunt are introducing legislation called the Children and Media Research Advancement Act.

"It’s like all of a sudden things that medical professionals have been saying all along somebody’s finally listening to them and saying okay let’s put some money in this, let’s put our money where our mouth is and start doing something about this."

The bill would fund $95 million over five years to investigate technology's impact on infants, children, and adolescents.

"Not only is there a need for this, $90 million is a drop in the bucket for what they actually need to do in the long run over a period of time to be able to figure this out."

CAMRA would go a long way toward helping researchers gather evidence on how things like mobile devices, social media, and virtual reality affect the way kids think, grown, and socialize.

"You’ve got to remember that next generation is going to be highly tainted because of this technology issues and it’s all going to come back on us if we don’t take heat."

According to common sense media, 59% of parents say their kids are "addicted" to their screens, while 66% say their kids spend too much time on screens. 

"I know there are constitutional things involved with freedom of speech, but there’s no constitutional right to freedom of brain washing which is basically what some of this technology is doing."

A copy of the legislation can be found HERE

A list of realistic screen time solutions for children:

  • Stock any rooms that have a TV, computer, or other devices with plenty of other non screen entertainment.
  • Keep TV's,IPads, and other screens out of kids bedroom.
  • Turn off all screens during meals.
  • Don't allow your child to watch TV while doing homework.
  • Treat Screen as a privilege.
  • Try a weekday ban.
  • Set a good example.
  • Preview Programs.
  • Come up With a Family Schedule.
  • Offer Fun Alternatives to Screen Time.
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