(631) 498-5632 Contact Us

Contact Us

Thank you very much for contacting Long Island Spine Specialists, P.C.

To best serve your individual needs, please choose from the following options:

New Patient Existing Patient Refer a Patient

Encouraging Your Digital-Age Kids to Love the Outdoors

It’s not unusual to see a 3-year-old expertly operate an iPad or smartphone. Many kids seem more comfortable indoors in front of a screen rather than outside at a park or playground.

How can you foster a love of the outdoors in kids despite the lure of technology?

Here, pediatrician Gregory Weaver, MD, MPH, explains how to encourage kids of all ages to take breaks from their electronics and play outside — without nagging or forcing things:

The toddler years: Encouraging little explorers

Two-to-3-year-olds are fearless explorers and probably the easiest group to get outside. They yearn to touch, smell (and eat) their environment.

By ages 3 and 4, kids are “little scientists,” running experiments to help understand the world around them, Dr. Weaver says.

“When parents ask me what the best toy is for their 2-year-old, I say, ‘You.’ If you interact with your child and show a personal interest in the natural world, your child will reflect your interest,” he says.

It’s best not to present going outside as a chore or as a way to get exercise. Let kids see it as an exciting opportunity to discover new sights, smells and sounds in a beautiful, exciting place.

“When we take walks with our young daughters, my wife and I point out new birds or animals, or talk about the colors of the flowers we see along the way,” says Dr. Weaver.

The early school years: Finding fun activities

As kids move into the early school years, they’re likely less curious about getting outdoors just for the sake of exploring the world.

Here, the best tactic is to find things they like to do outside, and work from there. For instance, most kids love swimming, so that’s almost always a hit. Sports often serve as a good catalyst for breaking away from screens, too.

Look for exercise that both you and your kids enjoy. (If it feels like a chore, you’ll all find ways to avoid it.)

“Find things kids are excited about. Then build a natural experience around them, so it doesn’t feel as if they’re being forced to eat their vegetables,” says Dr. Weaver.

If kids are slightly older and really object to playing outside — or if you live in an area with little green space — look for a zoo, aquarium, botanical garden or other kind of natural space to visit.

Even many art museums — which often have free admission days — have outdoor areas or atriums for children to explore, he says.

The teen years: Schedule outdoor time with options

Electronic devices and video games are engineered to capture — and hold — your attention. And no one is more susceptible than teenagers.

Sp during the teen years, you may have to mandate outdoor time.

Dr. Weaver recommends creating a structure, but allowing your teens to make choices within it.

For example, give them a plan for the week, but let them choose their “no screens allowed” times or days. Then offer a few outdoor options for those times.

“Sometimes you have to say, ‘enough is enough,’ and deal with the griping. But the alternative must be fun,” he says. “And you have to allow kids to act independently within the structure you set up.”

Even when kids are skeptical at first, they’ll likely come around if they have a hand in planning their outdoor time.

An important note about teens: Be sure you’re living by the same rules you give them. If you ask them to put their screens away, then turn yours off, too. “It’s not fair to expect something out of a teen that you aren’t willing to do yourself,” says Dr. Weaver.

The bottom line? Your whole family will benefit from less screen time and more green time.

SOURCE: https://health.clevelandclinic.org/encouraging-your-digital-age-kids-to-love-the-outdoors/


Back to Blog

Practice Policy Update Regarding COVID-19

Dear Patients:

Our patients, employees and family are our top priority at Long Island Spine Specialists, P.C.

We ask you to not visit any of our locations if you have symptoms such as fever, sneezing, coughing and possible shortness of breath.

Please cancel your appointment and re-schedule once you are feeling better and are no longer suffering with symptoms.

Only non-symptomatic patients will be seen. No exceptions.

Accompanying family members – including children – are asked to remain in the waiting area and will not be allowed to enter the exam rooms.

During this time of high concern regarding the spread of COVID-19 (Coronavirus) we are taking extra precautions to maintain the highest possible standards of safety and cleanliness. Please be advised that we are carefully following recommendations from both the CDC and WHO and are here to help guide you through this time if needed.

Some steps we are taking to keeping safe:

  1. We know how important cleanliness is and always maintain the highest standards of cleanliness. To further offer you peace of mind, we have increased the frequency of the cleaning of our office.
  2. Rest assured that hand washing is strictly followed. Hand sanitizer is available to all staff and patients.
  3. Additionally, if you have recently traveled to a country with high rates of the coronavirus or have been on a cruise, please reschedule your visit for at least 14 days from your return date. We will gladly accommodate your needs to reschedule. At that time, a telehealth interface can be arranged if necessary.

Find up-to-date and accurate information on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website and feel free to reach out with questions.

- Your team at Long Island Spine Specialists, P.C.

Schedule a Consultation

Contact Us

Contact Us

Thank you very much for contacting Long Island Spine Specialists, P.C.

To best serve your individual needs, please choose from the following options:

New Patient Existing Patient Refer a Patient

To learn more about Long Island Spine Specialists – and to discover how we can relieve your pain and help you find an improved quality of life – please contact our office today and schedule a consultation.

Contact us media
Accessibility: If you are vision-impaired or have some other impairment covered by the Americans with Disabilities Act or a similar law, and you wish to discuss potential accommodations related to using this website, please contact our Accessibility Manager at (631) 498-5632.
Contact Us