You might want to cut down on using your cell phones...

Good morning everyone,

It's going to start out a bit rainy and change to cloudy for today, but at least it'll be warm. Tomorrow and Sunday will be pretty nice actually, with daytime highs above 10C and a mix of sun and clouds. They're calling for rain on Monday and then remaining mostly cloudy for the rest of the week with highs between 10C and 13C all week.

The Japan Pediatric Association and the Japan Medical Association on Feb. 15 unveiled a poster warning against the dangers of the excessive use of smartphones. 

Here is a picture of the poster released by the Japan Pediatric Association and Japan Medical Association warning about those dangers.

 smartphone dangers

The risks are (clockwise from top left): insufficient sleep, lack of excercise resulting in weaker bones and muscle, worsening vision, loss of communication skills, worsening cognitive function, and declining academic ability.

The poster will be sent to approximately 170,000 members of the two associations to be put up at clinics nationwide.

The poster poses the question, "What do I sacrifice with time spent on my smartphone?" and responds with the six categories of sleep, academic performance, brain function, physical strength, vision, and communication ability. The effects of smartphone use in these areas are explained using data from the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT) and illustrations.

According to a National Survey on Scholastic Aptitude and Learning Environment conducted in the 2014 academic year, students in both elementary and junior high schools were found to have a tendency toward lower scores the longer they spent on their phones.

The Japan Pediatric Association had already compiled recommendations in 2004 that time spent watching television, playing mobile phone games, or otherwise using cell phones be limited to a maximum of two hours per day, and that children up to 2 years of age refrain from watching television or videos. The association is calling for smartphone use to be limited accordingly.

Doctors back home give similar advice-we call it 'screen time'. They want parents to limit their kids' screen time to under 2 hours per day. That means adding up all of the time they spend looking at a screen, whether it be a phone, a game, tv or the internet and having the total be 2 hours or less. Sounds reasonable to me. But I'm not a parent, so all of you parents out there...what do you think? Is it feasible? Or highly unlikely?

Have a great day!

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