St. Luke's. The Patient. Above All Else. ®
St. Luke's

St. Luke's pediatrician urges parents to get creative with their gifts

It may be national Safe Toys and Gifts Month, but it's not just the lead paint and small parts that people should be thinking about these days, according to St. Luke's pediatrician Dr. Noelle Westrum.

She is encouraging parents this holiday season to select gifts which encourage imaginative play and physical activity, and try to avoid electronic toys and gadgets which can contribute to childhood obesity and behavioral issues.

"It may not be an immediate safety risk, but it can have long term implications on their behavior and how they interact in the world," said Dr. Westrum. "Some electronics aren't what I would consider detrimental to their development, but some games are very violent and can be very stimulating, so if they are using them right before bed, it can be quite hard for them to settle down."

She recommends books, building blocks, sporting equipment and arts and crafts as great examples of gifts for relatives to get children thinking, playing and moving.

The subject of screen time often comes up with parents as part of a routine well child visit at St. Luke's Pediatrics Associates Dr. Westrum echoes the advice of the American Academy of Pediatrics, which recommends children over the age of two should spend a maximum of two hours per day in front of a screen – whether that's a television, computer, tablet, smart phone or child's electronic game. Younger children should not get any screen time.

"Just seeing the obesity issue with kids in the U.S., we want to encourage activities that are physical as an important part of their overall health," said Dr. Westrum. "It helps to foster development and creative play, instead of just going to the screens that are at the top of kids' lists younger and younger. There is a lot of good, old-fashioned fun out there."

Resources:

Information on screen time from the American Academy of Pediatrics

http://www.healthychildren.org/English/family-life/Media/pages/Screen-Time-A-Weighty-Topic.aspx

General holiday safety tips from the American Academy of Pediatrics:

http://www.healthychildren.org/English/news/Pages/Holiday-Safety-Tips.aspx

Posted to website: December 10, 2012

Newsroom
What's New
Quick Facts
Media FAQ
Contact Us
News
Step to a Healthy Heart Challenge
Lake View CEO honored
Pharmacist's work shares knowledge with students globally
ICU nurse brings medical aid to typhoon survivors
St. Luke's included in national list of great heart programs
Group well child visits
New CT certification for Lake View Hospital
New Tool in Fight Against Breast Cancer
Keeping Moms and Babies Together After C-Sections
ID expert receives achievement award
St. Luke's receives distinction for cardiac care
St. Luke's CEO receives leadership award
New Sim Lab Open for State-of-the-Art Training
Help Delete Blood Cancer
Celebrating the 10th Annual Circle of Light
St. Luke's Search for Social Media Star
St. Luke's Backs State Rural Heart Attack Initiative
Cardiac Care Wins Patient Feedback Award
Weight Loss Doctor Publishes Book
New Overhead Lift Gets Patients Back on Their Feet
Doctor's Summer Safety Tips
St. Luke’s Weight Loss Surgery Program Accredited
Duluth Fire Department Training in St. Luke's Building
Synthetic Drugs: The Medical Perspective
St. Luke's Laurentian Medical Clinic Expansion
Citizen Hero Awards
St. Luke's Recognized for Knee and Hip Replacements
Birthing Center Patients Check Out iPads
Doctor's Tips for Grandma's Marathon Preparation
St. Luke's Carbon Footprint
Safe Patient Handling Program Recognized Nationally
Platinum award for cardiac care
St. Luke's Cardiac Care Award
St. Luke's | 915 East First Street, Duluth, MN 55805 | 218-249-5555 | 1-800-321-3790
St. Luke's is exempt from Federal income tax under the 1954 provisions of Section
501 (c) (3) of the Code
Privacy Policy | Compliance Policy | Terms of Use