A new Mason-Dixon survey, conducted for the Water Quality and Health Council, found that parents are alarmed at the amount of time children spend on electronic devices at the expense of physical activities like swimming. But experts say parents can help their children strike a balance.
When asked to prioritize the health benefits of swimming, parents credited swimming with improving children’s cardiovascular health. In addition to the 93 percent of parents who are concerned about the health implications of spending too much time on electronic devices, 86 percent are concerned about the impact on children’s social skills. One in four respondents did not know that swimming in a well-maintained pool with a proper chlorine level and pH is a healthy activity for children with asthma.
- Discuss with your children the health consequences of spending too much time on electronic devices at the expense of more physical pursuits, such as swimming.
- Have a family meeting to decide together what the right mix of time is for your family on electronic devices versus swimming.
- Ask your children if they would swim more if you made a commitment to get them to a pool on a regular basis.
- Express your interest in spending face-to-face time with your children. Letting your children know that you are also willing to turn off the electronics is an important idea to share.
- Locate the municipal or community pool in your area and build in time to get there with your children.
Free Swimming Pool Test Kits
The Council is making free pool test kits available to the public. Additionally, a podcast sharing a discussion with a panel of experts is accessible online. To order a kit or listen in on the discussion, go to www.healthypools.org.
The survey was conducted of 1,000 adults with at least one child between the ages of 5 and 14 nationwide. The survey was conducted by telephone, including both landlines and cell phones, from May 2 through May 9, 2013 by Mason-Dixon Polling & Research, Inc. The margin for error on the national results is +/-3.2%.