Kathleen M. Clarke-Pearson MD FAAP
Tv Turnoff Week
TURNOFF WEEK is a biannual media literacy event which addresses the need to help families recognize the importance of engaging in other activities in real time as opposed to constant exposure/immersion by both parents and children in the digital world. The American Academy of Pediatrics enthusiastically supports this initiative which is scheduled for September 19-25, 2010. Dr. Clarke-Pearson has been involved in this movement since its inception in 1995. Today, she will bring her perspective to how TURNOFF WEEK can positively impact families and help them recognize that balancing screen time with real life family time is an achievable goal.
Kathleen Clarke-Pearson is a former elementary school teacher and parent of 4 grown children who currently practices general pediatrics in North Carolina. She has had a longstanding interest in media’s effects on children’s and adolescents’ health and has worked with pediatricians, parents, and educators to promote the important concept of media literacy. 10-12 years ago, encouraging families to be media literate used to be as simple as reminding parents to limit TV and video game time to 1-2 hours a day, monitor children’s programming, and keep the TV in a central location in the home instead of in a child’s bedroom. Over the last decade, however, the number of “screens” has expanded to include internet with its exciting social networking opportunities as well as cell phones which provide opportunities to be in constant communication with peers by text, photo, and video applications. Families and their children have also adopted daily use of portable DVD players and handheld gaming devices.
Pediatricians, other health professionals, educators and parents are appropriately concerned about children’s, adolescents’ and family immersion in screen use in 2010. The media literacy concept has expanded to include all of the new digital devices with the effort directed to helping families balance their use so that real world opportunities are not neglected.
Melanie Cole, M.S.
Prom Safety! PSA
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