2017-12-02 / Viewpoints


Over-wired kids

Dear editor:

In last week’s edition, a letter to the editor from Catherine Perry (“Plugged-in Kids”) made some good points. But the problem runs deeper.

A medical condition, electronic screen syndrome (ESS), describes the cumulative effect of exposure on a developing brain.

Children ages 5 to 16 spend an average of 6.5 hours of “screen time” per day -- watching TV, playing video games, or using a mobile phone, computer or tablet, with a documented negative impact on sleep, diet, family dynamics, behavior, and school performance.

The hyper arousal of a child’s sensitive nervous system often results in chronic stress. It can cause irritability, depression, changing moods, tantrums, lower frustration points, poor self-regulation, disorganized behavior, poor sportsmanship, social immaturity, poor eye contact, insomnia, learning difficulties and a diminished short-term memory.

ESS can also exacerbate psychiatric, neurological, behavioral and learning disorders.

Doctors who have diagnosed children with ESS often recommend “electronic fasting,” which is the strict removal of electronics for several weeks.

Symptoms begin to diminish within days. The child’s attention span improves, and the child stays on task more easily. School performance improves and mood stabilizes.

Removal of electronic stimuli induces the nervous system to seek out more balanced stimulation by physically interacting with other people and with the environment.

It’s about time parents begin to put the genie back in the bottle.

Pamela Blake

No Sunday hunting

Dear editor:

Pennsylvanians are getting outside in record numbers. Families have discovered geo-caching and are day-hiking our state parks.

People are trail-running, setting up tripods for nature photography, mountain biking, paddling kayaks, backpacking in our state forests, bird and wildlife watching and riding on equestrian trails.

Hunters need to recognize that the majority of outdoor recreationists look forward to Sundays as the one day of the week that they can pursue their activities without having to worry about “user conflicts” or accidentally getting shot.

Yes, there is another push on to make Sunday hunting in Pennsylvania as a legislative priority. Before our legislators embrace Sunday hunting, they should consider the impact it will have on the vast majority of their constituents.

This is really an issue of fairness and the equitable sharing of the resources of time and terrain.

Ed Lawrence
Keystone Trails Assn.

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