COVID Summer

Make the Summer of COVID
a Summer of No-Vid

Westview Behavioral Health Services
Hugh Gray

  Usually, toward the end of May, school students start thinking about how they will spend all the free time they’ll have once school lets out. This year, though, COVID-19 has made for a gradual slide into the care-free days of summer.
  It has probably not been uncommon for students to spend lots of time on a screen each day over the last few weeks. Now, with packet work completed, youth will have even more time to devote to a device.
  But too much tech can be a habit that creates long-term problems for kids.
  “There are a lot of potential harmful effects of screen time on kids, from newborns up to late adolescents and even young adults,” Craig Anderson, PhD, distinguished professor of psychology at Iowa State University told WebMD.
  When kids watch a lot of fast-paced shows that switch quickly from scene to scene, they may later have trouble when they need to focus in the classroom, Anderson says.
  Kids who spend too much time in front of a screen can have other problems, too, like too little sleep or too much weight gain, says David Hill, MD, chairman of the American Academy of Pediatrics Council on Communications and Media. Plus, he says, kids who watch TV and play video games for hours each day may miss out on face-to-face opportunities to learn, time to play outside, and connections with friends. “Our greatest question should be, ‘What is this screen time displacing?’” he says.
  With screens everywhere, it may seem even harder to limit a child’s time with them. But limits are worth it. Try these tips to pry them off those devices — at least, for a little while.
  1. Make computers and TVs stay in the shared spaces of your home. When your kids use screens in the kitchen or living room, it’s easier to keep an eye on the shows they watch, the games they play, and the websites they’re on.
  2. Add tech-free time to your family’s schedule. “At any age, kids should know there are specific times when screens stay off, like at meals and before bed,” Hill says. Even better, set aside time every week when the family does something fun together — no devices allowed.
  3. Watch how often you use your own devices. If you keep your face buried in your phone, your kids won’t see a good reason why they should get off their screens. Plus, those devices affect the time you spend with your children. Researchers who studied families at fast-food restaurants noticed parents were often more focused on their smartphones than on the children at the table.
  4. Make limits a regular part of screen use. When the rules are clear and consistent, you can avoid daily battles when you tell the kids it’s time to turn off the TV, computer, or phone.
  5. Be ready to explain different screen-time limits. After your kids have watched hours of TV at a friend’s house, they may wonder why your rules are different. “These are opportunities to have conversations with your kids about what your family’s values are,” Anderson says.
  6. Help your kids find other ways to have fun. “If a child has nothing to do but stare at a screen, then we should not be surprised when that is what he or she does,” Hill says. Keep other options — art supplies, books, Frisbees, and bikes — around and ready when your kids claim there’s nothing else to do.  
  7. Make tech work for you. Use programs and apps that you can set to turn off computers, tablets, and smartphones after a given amount of time.
  Researchers tested the theory that there was an amount of screen time that was just right. In their study titled A Large-Scale Test of the Goldilocks Hypothesis, Andrew Przbyiski and Netta Weinstein compared the relationship between screen use and mental well-being. They found that the “Goldilocks” number was 4 hours and 17 minutes of screen time per day.
  That’s total screen time, though. So the research also set limits for time spent in specific activities. For video game play, the limit is an hour and 40 minutes. For smartphone use, the limit is an hour and 57 minutes. For recreational video watching, the limit is 3 hours and 41 minutes. Remember, though, no combination of these specific screen activities should exceed 4 hours and 17 minutes.
  And that’s great because, even when you add 10 hours for sleep, that leaves 10 hours for interactive family time!

July 4th on Lake Murray

  The Capital City/ Lake Murray Country Regional Tourism Board is pleased to present Lake Murray’s July 4th Celebration scheduled for Saturday, July 4th.
  At approximately 9:15 or dark, fireworks will launch from two lake locations, Dreher Island and Spence Island. The fireworks show is synchronized to a patriotic music show. Be sure to tune into 97.5 FM through iHeart Media for this special music program.  The Irmo parksite at the Lake Murray Dam will be open all day on a first come to capacity basis and there is a $5 fee per vehicle.  The Lexington parksite at the Lake Murray Dam is not open at this time and may or may not be open.
   “We began this holiday tradition in 1989.  This even has gained regional, statewide and national attention as South Carolina’s largest patriotic event and fireworks show.  Come join us on July 4th to celebrate our nation’s birthday, stated Miriam Atria, President/CEO, Capital City/Lake Murray Country Regional Tourism Board.  We are sad to say, due to current pandemic conditions, license, permits and other requirement we will not be holding the annual boat parade this year.”  
  Visit our website for updates and more event information, visit LakeMurray  

Capital City/Lake Murray Country Regional Tourism Board does plan to hold the annual event including the patriotic boat parade in 2021. We know the public will appreciate our efforts in conducting a safe holiday event.