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How To Find a Healthy Balance With Technology

It seems like everyone is plugged into something these days. Technology is everywhere! As a parent, you might be trying to find a balance between embracing it and making sure your child still gets the time to be creative, get outside and exercise. Thankfully, recent technology, including digital fitness trackers and apps help families make healthy decisions when on the go.

We talked with Cody Walker, a certified athletic trainer at Arkansas Children’s about how technology can impact your young athlete. He shared some tips about how to use technology, while keeping a balance.

Can Apps Make a Family and Young Athletes Healthier?

I really like devices like Fitbits or Apple watches that track steps, standing time, sleep, and heart rate. Research shows that sleep is very important for the developing athlete and not just the hours, but the quality of sleep. Some devices even show how to get a better night’s sleep.

The whole family can get involved in being healthy and using technology to their benefit. Some apps even foster a competition feature for most steps taken in a day or overall healthy choices.
However, parents should be mindful of how much screen time their children are having daily, and can encourage active play or outdoor exercise as a way to avoid eye fatigue, dry eyes or even missed sleep. 

How to Maintain a Technology Balance

As with most things, moderation is key. Sometimes we strive to use technology too much in sports training, and it becomes more about improving the numbers than the game itself.

Here are some things you can do with your child or young athlete to keep the tech balance:

  1. DO have family conversation about where technology fits into your lives and how you plan to spend time together away from a screen.
  2. DO have ground rules about use of devices.
  3. DO talk to your kids about what’s happening online or with their device, and help them understand the difference between an online or technology presence and how to present in real world interaction with friends and family.

Using Technology for Appointments at Arkansas Children’s

Technology can also be used by you and your teens to access medical records. With the addition of patient portals that offer communication tools, you can communicate with your child care providers in a digital format at their fingertips. 
Check out www.archildrens.org/MyChart for more info.

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