Technology overload: Why Handheld Devices Should Be Banned for Children Under the Age of 12 

| Cris Rowan

Digital dementia
High speed media content can contribute to attention deficit, as well as decreased concentration and memory, due to the brain pruning neuronal tracks to the frontal cortex (Christakis 2004, Small 2008). Children who can’t pay attention can’t learn.

The American Academy of Pediatrics and the Canadian Society of Pediatrics stateinfants aged 0-2 years should not have any exposure to technology, 3-5 years be restricted to one hour per day, and 6-18 years restricted to 2 hours per day (AAP 2001/13, CPS 2010). Children and youth use 4-5 times the recommended amount of technology, with serious and often life threatening consequences (Kaiser Foundation 2010, Active Healthy Kids Canada 2012). Handheld devices (cell phones, tablets, electronic games) have dramatically increased the accessibility and usage of technology, especially by very young children (Common Sense Media, 2013). As a pediatric occupational therapist, I’m calling on parents, teachers and governments to ban the use of all handheld devices for children under the age of 12 years. Following are 10 research-based reasons for this ban. Please visit to view the Zone’in Fact Sheet for referenced research.

1. Rapid brain growth
Between 0 and 2 years, infant’s brains triple in size, and continue in a state of rapid development to 21 years of age (Christakis 2011). Early brain development is determined by environmental stimuli, or lack thereof. Stimulation to a developing brain caused by overexposure to technologies (cell phones, internet, iPads, TV), has been shown to be associated with executive functioning and attention deficit, cognitive delays, impaired learning, increased impulsivity and decreased ability to self-regulate, e.g. tantrums (Small 2008, Pagini 2010).

2. Delayed Development
Technology use restricts movement, which can result in delayed development. One in three children now enter school developmentally delayed, negatively impacting literacy and academic achievement (HELP EDI Maps 2013). Movement enhances attention and learning ability (Ratey 2008). Use of technology under the age of 12 years is detrimental to child development and learning (Rowan 2010).

10 Reasons Why Handheld Devices Should Be Banned for Children Under the Age of 12 | Cris Rowan.

Thinking Humanity: Napping can Dramatically Increase Learning, Memory, Awareness, and More

As our day wears on, even when we get enough sleep at night, our focus and alertness degrade. While this can be a minor inconvenience in modern times, it may have meant life or death for our ancestors. Whether you are finishing up a project for work or hunting for your livelihood, a nap can rekindle your alertness and have your neurons back up and firing on high in as little as 15 to 20 minutes.Big name (and high-dollar) companies recognize this. Google and Apple are just a few that allow employees to have nap time. Studies have affirmed that short naps can improve awareness and productivity. Plus, who wouldn’t love a boss that lets you get a little shut-eye before the afternoon push? – See more at:

Thinking Humanity: Napping can Dramatically Increase Learning, Memory, Awareness, and More.

Building Strength and Resilience: Tools for Early-Career Social Workers

Helping human beings in distress is a rewarding profession—and a stressful one. It can be hard to stay positive, because problems are what we are expected (and expect ourselves) to solve. These expectations take a toll and sometimes result in a process of gradual exhaustion, cynicism, and loss of commitment…. Read the tips from Marilyn Lammert on

Building Strength and Resilience: Tools for Early-Career Social Workers –

Thinking Humanity: Psychoanalyze Yourself Test

This is a very interesting test. Try it.
Have a pen and paper handy before you read any further. As soon as you read a question, write the answer right away. Make sure to answer questions 1-10 before moving onNO CHEATING!!
Read the following questions, imagining the scenes in your mind, and write down the FIRST thing that you visualize. Do not think about the questions excessively.
Thinking Humanity: Psychoanalyze Yourself Test.

Back-to-school: 7 million students, 440,000 educators prepare for the new year – Canada

CBC News

When it comes to the costs, parents willspend an average of nearly $1,400 on their children’s education, whether it’s for pencil crayons, the works of Aristotle or anything that falls under the Statistics Canada category for education spending.

Those in university face steep tuition fees. The average tuition now costs $5,772. Dentists-in-training pay the most, at a whopping $17,300, while future educators fork over the least, at $4,400for teachers’ college.

By the time they reach university, nearly all students will have cellphones. But even the young ones won’t be sent to school without a way for parents to reach them.

An estimated one-quarter of Grade 4 students have their own cellphone. For Grade 7 students, that proportion rises to half, and by Grade 11, it’s 85 per cent.

When it comes to time spent in the classroom, university students typically spend the least, with only 15 in-class hours per week.

But with an average 17 hours outside the classroom spent on reading textbooks and working on assignments, the hours on academics adds up to a grand total of 32. Never mind the average of 18 hours of paid work many will be doing on top of that to help with tuition costs.

Back-to-school: 7 million students, 440,000 educators prepare for the new year – Canada – CBC News.

Anxiety Symptoms: 10 Common Signs To Watch Out For


According to Statistics Canada, anxiety is one of the most prevalent mental health disorders in the country and is usually chronic and generally lasts at least six months.If left untreated, anxiety can get worse over time and people may not feel comfortable doing day-to-day routines like going to work or openly communicating with their partners.

While there are several symptoms of anxiety, Masand says they can be broken down to psychological and physical ones. Everything from irregular sleeping patterns to constantly fearing something in your life may be signs of anxiety disorder.

Masand says there are also several misconceptions about anxiety in the medical world. He believes not all forms of anxiety can be harmful, but rather they can help us stay focused and productive when we’re dealing with fears, for example. People suffering from anxiety, however, are also aware of the stigma. Telling someone to“calm down” or relating to them with your own stress, can all be viewed as annoying and unhelpful to someone with anxiety.

Anxiety Symptoms: 10 Common Signs To Watch Out For.

Related reading from around the Web:

 Anxiety Symptoms – Anxiety Attacks
 15 Small Steps You Can Take Today to Improve Anxiety Symptoms …
 Generalized Anxiety Disorder: Get the Facts on Symptoms
 Anxiety symptoms, panic attacks symptoms and treatment of anxiety …
 Symptoms | Anxiety and Depression Association of America, ADAA

 Stress and anxiety: MedlinePlus Medical Encyclopedia


Mental Health: Anti-stigma campaigns produce unintended consequences

| OPSEU Diablogue

There is no question that stigma is an obstacle to those seeking help for mental illness.

The question is, once mental illness is accepted in the same way as any other medical malady, will there be sufficient resources in place to deal with those who do come forward?

Alan Stevenson of the Canadian Mental Health Association recently told the Sarnia Observer that his agency is seeing yearly jumps in the number of people coming forward with anxiety and depression largely due to the success of anti-stigma campaigns.

Mental Health: Anti-stigma campaigns produce unintended consequences | OPSEU Diablogue.

Study: Less-Structured Time Correlates to Kids’ Success

Based on  TIME Reports:

Research found that young children who spend more time engaging in more open-ended, free-flowing activities display higher levels of executive functioning, and vice versa.

Parents, drop your planners—a new psychological study released Tuesday found that children with less-structured time are likely to show more “self-directed executive functioning,” otherwise known as the “cognitive processes that regulate thought and action in support of goal-oriented behavior.”

“Executive function is extremely important for children,” Yuko Munakata, a professor in the psychology and neuroscience department at the university of Colorado, Boulder  told EurekAlert!. “It helps them in all kinds of ways throughout their daily lives, from flexibly switching between different activities rather than getting stuck on one thing, to stopping themselves from yelling when angry, to delaying gratification. Executive function during childhood also predicts important outcomes, like academic performance, health, wealth and criminality, years and even decades later.”

Study: Less-Structured Time Correlates to Kids’ Success | TIME.

Fake Tinder nurse promotes men’s health awareness – Your Community

In an attempt to promote Men’s Health Awareness Month this June, the Matches for Men’s Health project is tapping into the world of online dating to remind young men about the importance of getting screened for preventable health problems.
The project’s creators recently set up a fake profile for a character named “Nurse Nicole” on Tinder, a location-based mobile dating app popular among adults.
A beautiful, 28-year-old health care worker, Nurse Nicole’s profile looks like many others found on the site: “Nurse in NYC,” her bio reads. “Love dogs, warm weather, and spontaneous decisions :)”

While it’s true that Nicole is on Tinder to meet men, she’s not interested in dating anybody at the moment — something that becomes startlingly clear to the men who swiped right on her profile when they begin chatting with her.

Fake Tinder nurse promotes men’s health awareness – Your Community.