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Ten reasons why handheld devices should be banned for children under the age of 12


By Cris Rowan 


The American Academy of Pediatrics and the Canadian Society of Pediatrics state infants 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. Children and youth use 4-5 times the recommended amount of technology, with serious and often life threatening consequences. Handheld devices (cell phones, tablets, electronic games) have dramatically increased the accessibility and usage of technology, causing escalating usage, especially by very young children. Cris Rowan, pediatric occupational therapist is calling on parents, teachers, and government to ban the use of all handheld devices for children under the age of 12 years. Click below to read ten research evidenced reasons for this ban.


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Foundation Series Workshop Schedule


February 28, 2014 - Victoria, BC

Workshop for professionals on the impact of technology on children sponsored by the Public Health Agency of Canada.

Contact person: Fen Hsiao 604-251-1225, ext 225


March 18, 2014 - Rivers Inlet, BC

Workshop for professionals on the impact of technology on children sponsored by Vancouver Coastal Health. 

Contact person: Kevin Gianakos 250-949-8881


April 3, 4, 2014 - Cedar Rapids, Iowa
Keynote speaker and workshop presenter at annual Autism Conference on the impact of technology on children sponsored by UnityPoint Health - St. Luke's Hospital. 

Contact person: Tiffany Cook,  319-368-5742


August 24, 2014 - Kelowna, BC
Workshop for professionals sponsored by Early Learning, Literacy CMOS & UBCO, SD No. 23 

Contact person: Donna Kozak  250-718-5332

Research and News Review

National Day of Unplugging March 7/8, 2014

By Tanya Schevitz on February 7, 2014 with the Huffington Post

Be honest. When is the last time you picked your children up from school and focused on them without checking email, texting or sneaking a peek at Facebook soon after they got in the car? When is the last time you sat down and played a board game with your family without the beeps, pings or rings of your cell phone distracting you? At the playground, do you sit on a bench and disappear into your phone? Do you find yourself constantly saying "Just a minute" or "Uh huh" to your children as you check a text or shoot off an email? Does that happen during dinner? Disconnect from technology and reconnect with your children.


Side effects of adhd shock parents

By David Bruser on February 25, 2014 with The Star

Concerned parents weigh in following a Star investigation that found nearly 600 cases of Canadian kids suffering serious, sometimes fatal side effects suspected to have been caused by ADHD medications in the past 10 years.


Kids with autism benefit from outdoor classroom

By Andrea Gordon on February 24, 2014 with The Star

Teachers say daily time outside is changing the way young students, including those with special needs, learn and behave. Muscle tone, balance and strength, which are often low in children with autism, improved as a result of physical activity. And they were calmer, more affectionate and less prone to outbursts.


EMFs & Dirty Electricity: Invisible Threat. The Link between Wireless Radiation and a Host of Serious Illnesses

By Frank Clegg, former president of Microsoft Canada, and no CEO of Canadian for Safe Technology for Vitality Magazine on February 3, 2014

It has been three years since the World Health Organization shocked the medical community by warning that exposure to microwave radiation from wireless devices might increase our cancer risk.  If the same elite cancer specialists were to meet again today, the warning would be upgraded from a "possible carcinogen" to a "probable carcinogen."


Less Sleep, More Time Online Raise Risk for Teen

By Maanvi Singh on February 06, 2014 for NPR

11 percent of teens develop depression by age 18. Teenagers who don't get enough sleep are four times as likely to develop major depressive disorder as their peers who sleep more, according to researchers.


Can Facebook make you sad?

By Justin Mullins for BBC Future on February 6, 2014
Rather than enhancing well-being... research studies show that Facebook may undermine it.


ICT use and mental health in young adults - Effects of computer and mobile phone use on stress, sleep disturbances, and symptoms of depression

By Marloes L.C. et al on May 1, 2013 in Computers in Human Behavior 29 (2013) 2150-2155 

Study examined how game exposure and 'problematic gaming behavior' are related to personality patterns associated with addiction by means of the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory-2 (MMPI-2).  


Gaming addiction, definition and measurement: A large-scale empirical study

By Daria Kuss for Psychology Research and Behavior Management 2013; 6: 125-137
The holistic approach adopted here not only highlights empirical research that evidences neurobiologic correlates of Internet gaming addiction and the establishment of a preliminary diagnosis, but also emphasizes the necessity of an indepth understanding of the meaning, context, and practices associated with gaming. 


A conceptual and methodological critique of internet addiction research: Towards a model of compensatory internet use

By Daniel Kardefelt-Winther on Novermber 23, 2013 for Computers in Human Behavior 31 (2014) 351-354

An empirical approach to studying compensatory internet use is suggested by combining the psychological literature on internet addiction with research on motivations for internet use.


Treatment outcomes using CBT-IA with Internet-addicted patients

By Kimberly S. Young on May 17, 2013 for Journal of Behavioral Addictions 2(4), pp. 209-215 (2013)

Results found that CBT-IA was effective at ameliorating symptoms associated with Internet addiction after twelve weekly sessions and consistently over one-month, three months, and six months after therapy.


The psychology of video game addiction
By James Flanagan on February 6, 2014 for The Week
Review of research looking at why people (87% male and 79% white) get hooked on video games.  


The Man who wants to cure your internet addiction
By Caisa Ederyd on February 18, 2014 for Vice

Article profiles an internet addiction emergency centre in Sweden.


My Rock-Bottom Mom Moment Caught on Camera
By Erin Zammett Ruddy on February 3, 2014 posted on Yahoo Shine

Mom blogging about her children and electronics. 

It's the Drugs, Stupid!

By Charles Gant and Greg Lewis on January 3, 2013 for American Thinker 

The term "frontal lobe syndrome" has been brought into use to describe the effects of prolonged drug use that damages this portion of the brain and increases our propensity to act violently and with depraved indifference.


Adverse Drug Events in Children Under Age 18
January 16, 2014 - An important QuarterWatch report by the Institute for Safe Medication Practices, Thomas Moore, Director
This report analyzes 15 drugs that accounted for 41% of recent serious adverse events in children reported to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) over the five years 2008-2012.


Raising kids in the information age
By Adrian MacNair for South Delta Leader on February 7, 2014

One Mom says "I've heard some parents say it's like you're buying a babysitter. But, for me as long as they're not with their iPads all the time-everything in moderation."


Technology must prevent texting while driving, Doctors say
By Douglas Main on February 6, 2014 for Popular Science

Texting while driving is responsible for one quarter of all accidents in the US, and makes an accident up to 23 times more likely.



No Internet Week
11:30 minute UK Documentary on five persons going without internet for one week.

Film trailer of documentary follows a group of people whose lives are dramatically transformed by the virtual world Second Life.


No Fap
Blog for persons addicted to porn, who are supporting No Fap (no masturbation).


How to build habit forming products by Nir Eyal and Ryan Hoover
This book introduces readers to the "Hook Model", a four steps process technology production companies use to build customer habits.

The topic of addiction is examined neutrally, using accepted research in neuroscience, media studies, and developmental psychology.
Examines the link between over-parenting and the resulting generation of dependent, medicated, and emotionally fragile children, and offers advice on balancing control and freedom to foster children's coping skills.


Baby Play Date at the George Mackie Library in North Delta, BC
Wednesday, April 9, 2014 - 10:30 am to noon
Parents and caregivers are invited to a hands-on event to teach them how to play with their baby and/or toddler, while encouraging early literacy at the same time.  Representatives from community agencies/organizations that serve babies will also be on hand to provide information about their services and programs and/or to answer questions.

Contact Person: Frances Thomson, Community Librarian, Fraser Valley Regional Library - George Mackie Library 604.594.8155 (ext. 225)
Zone'in Products

Sedentary, neglected, isolated, and overstimulated, the new millennium child can no longer pay attention and learn. Zone'in Products are designed by an occupational therapist to enhance child development and learning, ensuring successful futures.


Zone'in - enhancing attention, learning and self-regulation.

Move'in - teaches children to print, the foundation for literacy.

Unplug'in - builds skill and confidence in activities other than technology.

Live'in - media literacy guide for home, school and community.


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Virtual Child - The terrifying truth about what technology is doing to children

Virtual Child

By Cris Rowan, pediatric occupational therapist.

Virtual Child documents the impact technology has had on the developing child, and proposes tools and techniques to manage balance between activities children need for growth and success with technology use. 

Need more info? Visit


About the Author
Cris Rowan is a pediatric occupational therapist committed to enhancing child health and academic performance. Well known activist, speaker, sensory specialist and author, Cris is the "Go To" expert on child learning, development and technology overuse. Cris has provided over 200 workshops for health and education professionals, and is currently developing the Creating Sustainable Futures Program for a First Nations Community.
Training & Consultation

Instructor training for Foundation Series Workshops places pediatric occupational therapists on the cutting edge as experts in the field of technology's impact on child development.

Zone'in Training

Innovative team-based approach to manage balance between activities children need to grow and succeed with technology use.

Cris Rowan is now offering private phone/Skype consultations. 

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Zone'in Programs Inc. and Cris Rowan are seeking your support and assistance to ensure sustainable and productive futures for our children. Find out more about how you can help us!
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Zone'in Programs Inc. 2014