Additional Info for Parents

Electronic Device Usage
 

The AAP has recommendations for parents and pediatricians:

Today's children are spending an average of seven hours a day on computers, phones and other electronic devices. To help kids make wise media choices and keep them safe, parents should monitor and limit their media diet. Studies have shown that excessive media use can lead to attention problems, school difficulties, sleep and eating disorders, and obesity. In addition, the Internet and cell phones can provide platforms for unsafe situations, including illicit and risky behaviors.

By limiting screen time to 2 hours per day max, and offering educational media and non-electronic formats such as books, newspapers and board games, and watching television with their children, parents can help guide their children's media experience and keep them safe. 

It has been shown that children with certain diagnoses, such as ADHD and Autism, have a higher likelihood of becoming ‘addicted’ to video games.

Exercise and Nutrition
 

The AAP has recommendations for parents and pediatricians:

Nutrition and Exercise

Good nutrition and plenty of exercise are the building blocks for strong growth, healthy development and lifelong wellbeing for children.

These days, too many children are not receiving the proper nutrition or enough exercise.

The data shows:

 

  • They are not eating enough healthy food — an estimated one in three children are overweight and about one in six (ages six to 17) are obese. Children need at least 5 servings of fruit and vegetables per day; they need at least 2 servings of protein like lean beef, chicken, fish and they need 1,000mg or calcium and Vitamin D, which means they need dairy products as well.

  • They are not getting enough exercise — only 30 percent of children (aged six to 21) participated in 20 minutes plus of vigorous physical activity on a daily basis. Children need to get 30 minutes of exercise on a daily basis, and should get 60 minutes of exercise 2-3 times/week. This means running, swimming, biking or things which elevate their heart rate over a sustained period. The health and safety risks of NOT getting this much exercise are enormous including obesity, diabetes, heart disease and a shorter life span.

Adjuvant Treatments for Attention Disorders, Autism and Anxiety

 

There is a huge difference between anecdotal reporting of benefits from ‘treatments’ and scientifically designed and executed studies. The gold standard is double blind controlled studies with a large enough number of participants to show results in an accurate and powerful way. I am happy to share these documents and clinically relevant research with you. As a Clinician, I try very hard to bring in additional resources and methodologies to treat our patients. There are, however, limitations based on data, and we cannot recommend in good conscience interventions which have not been proven to be beneficial. One of the premises in medicine is ‘first, do no harm’. So, if something makes sense, is not dangerous and a child enjoys it, anything from yoga to therapeutic listening is not inappropriate. Moreover, essential common sense measures such as a healthy well-balanced diet, a good nights sleep, and regular exercise benefit everyone, especially children who may be predisposed to behavior problems.

 

Regarding the table below, if there is a blank space, it indicates that at this time, no objective data has been accrued to indicate a benefit exists. As physicians, we hold scientific research to a much higher standard than most lay people. So, there may be lots of ‘data’ as presented by companies or individuals promoting a given methodology or product; however, when peer-reviewed by rigorous scientific organizations such as the National Academy of Science, the American Academy of Pediatrics, or the National Institute of Health, there is no clinical evidence of efficacy over placebo [an inactive substance or regimen].

 

 

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Essex, CT

06426

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