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Screen-free week kicks off celebrating healthy kids

Screen-Free Week is an annual, international celebration when families, schools, and communities swap digital entertainment for the joys of life beyond the screen
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The Timmins-Misiway Healthy Kids Community Challenge and the YMCA of Timmins are inviting children and families to join in celebrating Healthy Kids Day 2018 on Sunday, April 29 from 10 am – 12 pm at R. Ross Beattie Senior Public School. YMCA Healthy Kids Day is a national day dedicated to improving the health and well-being of kids across Canada.

Annually, YMCA Healthy Kids Day draws over 30,000 participants to events at over 100 YMCA locations across the country. From healthy eating tips, to physical activities and games, YMCA Healthy Kids Day includes activities that are accessible, free of charge and open to the public. Children will have the opportunity to try a variety of different physical activities, participate in a bike rodeo hosted by the Timmins Police Service, have their face painted, and blend their own smoothie using a smoothie bike!

There will also be several prize draws, including a grand prize draw for a new bike, as well as information booths from local healthy living and kids’ recreation organizations. Healthy Kids Day will also serve as a launch of the next Healthy Kids Community Challenge initiative: Screen-Free Week from April 30 – May 6!

Screen-Free Week is an annual, international celebration when families, schools, and communities swap digital entertainment for the joys of life beyond the screen. Instead of watching TV, surfing the web, or playing with apps and video games, they read, play, think, create, get active, and spend more time with family and friends. It’s a chance for children — and adults — to power down and reconnect with the world around them.

Families can sign up to take the Screen-Free Week pledge by visiting or the Healthy Kids Community Challenge Facebook page. All registrants will be entered to win 1 of 3 prize packs valued at $250! There will also be a variety of free activities offered throughout the week to support families in powering off.

The initiative is part of the fourth theme of the Healthy Kids Community Challenge, Power Off and Play! This theme encourages kids and families to build a balanced day, replacing screen time with other activities, such as physical play, social interaction, and fun and educational activities. ‘Screen time’ is the time spent using a screen-based device, such as a smartphone, tablet, computer, or television – and many children are getting too much of it. Screen time affects many aspects of children’s health and higher amounts can be linked to lower levels of physical fitness, lower self-esteem, and poor language and attention skills development during a child’s early years.

“Screen-Free Week is about taking a break from digital entertainment,” said Madison Mizzau, project manager for the Timmins-Misiway Healthy Kids Community Challenge. “You can sign up for the challenge, and still use devices for work or school. We’re really trying to encourage building screen-free recreational time and family time, including meals, into your day.”

For more information about the Healthy Kids Community Challenge or to get involved, follow us on Facebook or visit Together we can create a healthier environment for children to live, eat and play!