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10 Reasons Why Handheld Devices Should Be Banned for Children Under the Age of 12 


By Cris Rowan 


null 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 (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.


Click to Read the 10 Reasons and Like, Share or Comment 

Cris In The News




Listen to Cris's interview on WNPR's The Colin McEnroe Show, daily call-in show from Connecticut Public Radio in Hartford on Tuesday August 5, 2014 - Why Imagination Matters in Childhood. Panel included Dr. Paul Harris, Harvard professor and Dr. Gary Small, neuroscientist and author of "iBrain - The technological alteration of the human mind".


APA Conference


Cris was on a panel with six other experts including Dr. Pamela Della Pietra, Dr. Andrew Doan and Dr. Hilarie Cash speaking on impact of technology on children at the American Psychological Association 2014 Conference in Washington DC. This two hour panel presentation and discussion, drew a 'standing room only' crowd of psychologists who reported significant issues treating children, youth, and adults, as well as whole families, who struggle with technology overuse and addiction. 


Foundation Series Workshop Schedule
September 9, 2014 - Campbell River, BC
Workshop for professionals sponsored by Campbell River Association for Community Living BC

Contact person: Jenny McLeod 250-203-0488


September 13, 2014 - Dawson Creek BC

Workshop on the impact of technology on children sponsored by South Peace Child Care Resource and Referral.

Contact person: Katherin Charbonneau 1-866-782-1138 ext 221


September 19-22, 2014 - Hong Kong, China

Workshops on impact of technology on corporate productivity and family life sponsored by the Young Presidents Organization.

Contact Person: Timothy Wong 


September 23, 24, 2014 - Beijing, China
Workshops on impact of technology on corporate productivity and family life sponsored by the Young Presidents Organization and local PTA's.
Contact Person: Emily Chan


October 1, 2014 - Vancouver, BC

Workshop on the impact of technology on children sponsored by Gatehouse Montessori School

Contact Person: Gretchen van Nostrand 604-925-1437


October 8, 2014 - Vancouver, BC

Workshop for health professionals presented at CHA BC Annual Meeting and Training Session.

Contact Person: Joanne Tardiff 1-250-503-1123


October 16, 2014 - Roberts Creek, BC

Workshop on the impact of technology on children sponsored by Sun Haven Waldorf School

Contact Person: Sari Cormack 604-741-0949


November 16, 2014 - Squamish, BC

Workshop on the impact of technology on children sponsored by Quest University

Contact person: Luce Melancon 1-888-883-7808


February 5, 6, 2015 - Rivers Inlet, BC

Workshops on self-regulation, literacy, technology balance, and attachment, sponsored by Vancouver Coastal Health grant

Contact person: Kevin Gianakos 1-250-949-8881


March 6, 2015 - Vancouver, BC

Workshop on school design for success sponsored by Cross Currents Special Education Conference

Contact person: Mary Berg 


Research and News Review


Detoxing & Unplugging


Link me, Like me, Follow you need a digital detox? 

By Steve Bodycomb July 28, 2014 for RSA

80 per cent of people would rather go without a car, chocolate or alcohol than be without their digital device for a day according to a recent report. Now I don't know about you but when someone can't go without something, or suffer acute withdrawal from lack of its use, I'd call it an addiction.


Canadians on holiday: we smell but at least we're unplugged
By Jim Byers, August 12 2014

Study by finds that Canadians are more willing to leave their mobile devices at home while on vacation than many other countries. We also are less likely to exaggerate our experiences. On the other hand, we place deodorant ninth on our "must pack" list.


How to Digitally Detox This Summer
By Lori Castle, August 12, 2014

Connectivity has become an addiction and there is even a name for it-nomophobia. Not yet formally recognized, there is, however, a proposal out to include it in the next edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM).


Data Point: That's a Lot of People to Say They "Never" Unplug
By Brian R. Fitzgerald August 15, 2014 Wall Street Journal
One in five people did say they unplugged daily. Just don't expect it from young adults aged 18-24, who were the least likely to unplug at all. Kids between the ages of 13 and 18, however, unplugged daily nearly as often as people 55 and older. (Chalk that up to the parents?)


Child Development


Research shows negative effect marijuana has on development of teens 

By Dave Delozier for 

"What we see is that increased marijuana use, especially daily use, is associated with cognitive problems like slowed processing speed, poor complex attentions"


New Stanford research sheds light on how children's brains memorize facts  

Stanford University Medical Center press release August 17, 2014

As children learn basic arithmetic, they gradually switch from solving problems by counting on their fingers to pulling facts from memory. The shift comes more easily for some kids than for others, but no one knows why.

Now, new brain-imaging research gives the first evidence drawn from a longitudinal study to explain how the brain reorganizes itself as children learn math facts. A precisely orchestrated group of brain changes, many involving the memory center known as the hippocampus, are essential to the transformation, according to a study from the Stanford University School of Medicine. 


Children with autism have extra brain synapses
Published on ABC Science August 22, 2014
Children with autism have extra synapses in their brain due to a slowdown in the normal brain "pruning" process during development, say US neuroscientists.
They found a drug that restores synaptic pruning also reverses autistic-like behaviours in mice, they report in the journal Neuron.


Childhood Disability


Changing Trends of Childhood Disability, 2001-2011  

By Amy J. Houtrow, Kandyce Larson, Lynn M. Olson, Paul W. Newacheck and Neal Halfon. Published online August 18, 2014

Over the past half century the prevalence of childhood disability increased dramatically, coupled with notable increases in the prevalence of mental health and neurodevelopmental conditions. This study provides a detailed assessment of recent trends in childhood disability in relation to health conditions and sociodemographic factors. 


Social Media & Mobile Technology


World's first creche for technology and car keys to get families connecting

New Forrest National Park Website July 22, 2014

The world's first Tech Crèche has been launched to offer visitors a proper family day out, leaving their car and technology behind.

A domestic battle is raging in millions of UK households, with seven in 10 children believing their parents are constantly glued to their mobile devices, whilst six in 10 parents believe their kids are doing the same thing, according to new research released today. Unsurprisingly, a quarter of kids feel their parents have double standards about the issue. 


Kids and technology: Is it ever too much of a good thing?

Learn about ways to use technology responsibly with young children.

By Gail Innis, August 5, 2014 Michigan State University Extension

Kids and technology; it's unusual to see one without the other these days. The American Academy of Pediatrics has stated that "today's children are spending an average of seven hours a day on entertainment media."  These estimates include time spent watching television, using a computer, on the telephone (talking or texting) and using other electronic devices.

How much is too much?.


"Mobilize" nominated for best documentary!!!
Along with filmmaker Kevin Kunze, Dr. Devra Davis (Environmental Health Trust;, and Dr. Joel Moskowitz (UC Berkeley Dept of Public Health;, Ellie Marks and her son Zack, have been working on a full length documentary on cell phone radiation for many years. This has been a labor of love dedicated to those we know that are suffering or have perished "more likely than not" from cell phone radiation.


Opportunity to define cyberbullying 

A group of researchers in Washington State are a doing a study about cyberbullying.  This study includes investigators with backgrounds in health, education, social work and the law.  Their goal is to develop a consensus on cyberbullying across different disciplines.  The project is funded by the National Institute of Justice.  As part of this research study they are doing a short survey asking for input on how best to define cyberbullying. The survey should take less than 5 minutes to complete.  All of answers will be anonymous.


Parenting while distracted
By Jane Scott, Special to The Washington Post August 11, 2014

I've been a pediatrician for 20 years, and I thought I'd seen it all. But not long ago, when a father brought his 2-year-old into my clinic, something happened that has me deeply concerned.

Children Face Highest Health Risk From Cell Phones
By Roxanne Nelson August 19, 2014
The potential harm from microwave radiation (MWR) given off by wireless devices, particularly for children and unborn babies, is the highlight of a new review.


Educational Technology


Can after-school programs help shrink the 'opportunity gap' for low-income students? 

PBS News Hour aired July 29, 2014

At Middle School 223 in the Bronx, the fun starts at the end of the regular day. All sixth graders are offered extracurricular activities like African drumming, latin dance and chess, plus personalized help in reading and math. John Tulenko of Learning Matters Television reports on the growing interest in extending the school day with special programs. 


Would greater independence for teachers result in higher student performance?

PBS News Hour aired August 18, 2014

In the face of a top-down hierarchy ruling many public schools these days, some teachers are taking back their classrooms by moving to schools where they create the curriculum and vote democratically on decisions. John Tulenko of Learning Matters reports from Boston on one of about 70 teacher-led schools that have cropped up around the country in recent years.


Tools & Techniques


Five ways to ease the family stress of a child with a mental-health challenge 

By Peter Szatmari August 17, 2014 for The Globe and Mail

Raising a child with a mental-health challenge, an addiction or a developmental disability can be very stressful. Feelings of stress can erupt at any moment; at the grocery store, family gatherings, meetings with teachers.  


Increase Productivity, Decrease Procrastination, and Increase Energy 

By Erik Peper et al. Institute for Holistic Health Studies, Department of Health Education, San Francisco State University in Biofeedback, Volume 42, Issue 2, pp. 82-87 DOI: 10.5298/1081-5937-42.2.06

Procrastination, self-blame, and unproductive behavior are widespread problems in student populations and in human beings generally. The authors present a framework, called Transforming Failure into Success, which is utilized in undergraduate classes and based on self-observation, self-acceptance, and mental rehearsal of positive changes.


Core Strengthening Exercises For Kids
Published 18th, March 2014 on the Inspired Treehouse

Core strengthening isn't just for adults.  Kids need to have a strong foundation of strength in the center of their bodies too.  Core strength fosters all kinds of developmental skills from bilateral coordination, posture, and stability to balance and endurance.  All of these skills build on one another, contributing to strong gross and fine motor skills and promoting healthy child development.  

Video Games


Electronic Gaming and Psychosocial Adjustment  

By Andrew K. Przybylski Published on-line August 4, 2014

Dr. Przybylski recently published a paper in Pediatrics in a study of over 5000 kids showing that less than 1 hour of gaming per day is beneficial, but the benefits are lost when it's 3 hours of gaming per day! Again, moderation is the key! 




Why You Should Run Away from Your Problems
The research is in: Exercise works, better than anything else. 

By Victoria L. Dunckley, M.D. July 26, 2014 in Mental Wealth

While physicians and other mental health clinicians regularly recommend exercise to combat depression, we don't always know how much or what kind will make a difference.


Great Snakes and Short Boys
By Stephen Spitalny August 12, 2014 Chamakanda Blogs
I think about stories, meditate about them, dream about them, and sometimes am inspired by sudden flashes of insight. I collect fairy tales and folk tales and read them and re-read them. 


Want your child to do well at school? Eat dinners as a family: Sitting together at meal times boosts concentration and social skills 

By Pat Hagan August 6, 2014
Psychologists studied families with children aged six to eleven.  They found they concentrated more at school, acquired better social skills and got into less trouble as teens if they took part in family meals
But this needs to happen at least four times a week to have a benefit. Research suggests less than a third of families sit down to dinner together.




New Perspective on Child Development in the Wireless Age 

Information on EMF by Liala Epstein, EMF Expert, Advanced Health Technologies, Canadian Distributor for EarthCalm Products.


Canadians for Safe Technology

Canadians 4 Safe Technology is a not-for-profit, volunteer-based coalition of parents, citizens and experts whose mission is to educate and inform Canadians and their policy makers about the dangers of the exposures to unsafe levels of radiation from technology and to work with all levels of government to create healthier communities for children and families from coast to coast.


Kawartha Safe Technology Initiative 

Kawartha Safe Technology Initiative represents informed citizens including parents, scientists, doctors, engineers, and educators. Our purpose is to raise awareness about, and advocate for, the use of safe, wired technology, rather than the use of wireless technology. This is based on mounting international evidence and warnings from governments, doctors and scientists alike, linking prolonged microwave radiation exposure to serious health effects, particularly for children. 

Chamakanda Blogs

Explore the world of the young child with writer, speaker and consultant Stephen Spitalny. Steve was a kindergarten teacher at the Santa Cruz Waldorf School for 24 years and is a former member of the Board of WECAN (Waldorf Early Childhood Association of North America). His book "Connecting with Young Children: Educating the Will" was published in 2012. Steve now offers workshops, coaching and mentoring in the U.S. and around the world.


Fearless Parent

Fearless Parent is informed by the trends of our time: desire for scientific integrity, deep respect for nature, love and compassion, simplicity, vulnerability and authenticity, passionate activism, and a clear-eyed understanding about business, economics, and politics.


YouTube channel to help Moms balancing technology with childhood.

Great website and resources for parents of infants and toddlers, who want to learn more about the importance of physical and sensory experiences in the early years.

Check out The Children's Mental Health Learning Series, funded by The Government of Alberta, recently broadcasted its eighth session. The sessions posted are:
  • The Core Story of Child Development
  • From Youth at Risk to Kids at Hope
  • Healing the Traumatized Parent and Child
  • Resilience in ADHD: Promoting the Positives in Challenging Children
  • Vicarious Trauma for Front-Line Service Providers and Parents
  • Creating Healthy Relationships and Settings to Prevent Peer Bullying and Victimization
  • Ameliorating psycho-social risk among mothers with intellectual disabilities and their children
  • Baby Steps and Giant Leaps: Infant Preschool Mental Health


Mind Change: How Digital Technologies Are Leaving Their Mark on Our Brains

by Susan Greenfield to be released January 27, 2015

In Mind Change, Susan Greenfield discusses the all-pervading technologies that now surround us, and from which we derive instant information, connected identity, diminished privacy and exceptionally vivid here-and-now experiences.


Raising Your Game: Over 100 Accomplished Athletes Help You Guide Your Girls and Boys Through Sports
By Andrea Corn and Ethan J. Skolnick
America's children are joining-and quitting-youth sports in record numbers. If kids can't find the fun in an activity, they may try to find the way out. If an adult can't find the right tools, they may not know the right words to say or the right actions to take In Raising Your Game, authors Ethan J. Skolnick and Dr. Andrea Corn present a guide adults can use to ensure the most enjoyable and enriching youth sports experience for a child.


The Emotional Incest Syndrome: What to do When a Parent's Love Rules Your Life
By Dr. Patricia Love and Jo Robinson
From Dr. Patricia Love, a ground-breaking work that identifies, explores and treats the harmful effects that emotionally and psychologically invasive parents have on their children, and provides a program for overcoming the chronic problems that can result.


When He's Married to Mom: How to Help Mother-Enmeshed Men Open Their Hearts to True Love and Commitment
By Ph.D. Kenneth M. Adams Ph.D. and Alexander P. Morgan
Why can't he commit? Many women find themselves asking this question when in love with a man who won't get married, won't stop womanizing, or refuses to give up his sex addictions. Often this kind of man is bound by an unhealthy attachment to his mother. This phenomenon is called "mother-son enmeshment." In When He's Married to Mom, clinical psychologist and renowned intimacy expert Dr. Kenneth M. Adams goes beyond the stereotypes of momma's boys and meddling mothers to explain how mother-son enmeshment affects everyone: the mother, the son, and the woman who loves him.




Mobilize - Official Trailer

Mobilize is an investigative documentary that explores the potential long-term health effects from cell phone radiation including brain cancer and infertility. This thought-provoking film examines the most recent scientific research and the challenges politicians face trying to pass cell phone safety legislation. Through interviews with expert researchers, major mobile associates, and prominent politicians, Mobilize presents a balanced and insightful observation about this unspoken health issue. 


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.


Product Preview  


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. 

Care to Donate?
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!
Contact Us
6840 Seaview Rd. Sechelt BC V0N3A4 
Tel: 1-888-896-6346
Fax: 1-877-896-6346
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