Published On: November 16th, 2021829 words4.1 min read

November 20th is Future Teachers of America Day, and it seems a lot of people recognized the importance of teachers during the pandemic. Teachers have a lot of responsibility, but they can’t teach our children everything. What are your kids learning about safety?

Although kids’ safety programs often focus on “stranger danger” and not taking candy from sketchy guys in vans, statistically it’s members of their own family who are likely to do them harm. But the internet can pose a threat too. Not only that, there are physical safety issues that parents often don’t even recognize.



It’s not entirely clear how much screen time kids should have, though the general feeling seems to be that the younger they are, the less time they should spend in front of screens. Wherever you come out on that end of the spectrum, there are physical issues related to screens that cause problems for both adults and kids.


  • Blue light

Screens emit a type of light that messes with melatonin, which is the hormone that signals time for sleep. If your child has a screen in front of them late at night, their bodies aren’t getting the message that it’s bedtime. Obviously this causes sleeping problems! 

While you can get a blue light filter that takes care of this problem, the underlying issue is still the same. Neither you nor your kids should have your screens in bed with you – especially not your cellphones. If you take yours to bed, don’t be surprised when your child does too and then complains that they’re tired in the morning. 


  • Eye strain

The human eye didn’t develop in front of computer screens, but with natural sunlight and natural views. Staring at a screen too long can cause dry eyes and strain for both adults and children. 

You might have heard about the 20-20-20 strategy, which is to take a 20-second break for every 20 minutes of screen work and look 20 feet away. In reality, how often do you do that? Probably not often enough. 

If you can’t handle that kind of discipline, how do you expect your children to? Help them put the screens away instead.


  • “Text neck”

Not only does cricking the neck to look at a phone cause neck and back pain for kids, it may also impact their future physical development. Staring down at a phone gives them poor posture too.



This is actually very unnatural for a human body. Our remote ancestors probably squatted while they rested or lay down rather than sitting. Being on your butt too much is bad for adults and kids. 

The core muscles along the spine weaken with too much time sitting around and not being active, which has an effect on their body strength. Sitting has also been linked to a number of lifestyle diseases (that are preventable with proper care.)

Not to mention that kids often have a lot of energy, and sitting doesn’t help them with that at all! Periodically standing is better than sitting, and being able to move around more is key for healthy development.

Schools usually have a number of folding tables that they use for various purposes, but those tables are designed for sitting. However, with a set of folding table risers, it’s pretty simple to lift the table to standing height. Kids can play comfortably without cricking their necks like they’re looking at cellphones. You can do that at home too. But playing with them is a great way to bond and keep all of you moving.


Sugary, fatty foods and drinks

If you’re, say, 50 or older, did you play sports as a kid? What did you get on the sidelines? I played soccer for a number of years and we got orange slices and water. No sports drinks, which are full of sugar, and definitely no sodas. 

Sports drinks may be fine for adults who are working out strenuously for over an hour, but literally no one else needs them. Especially not kids. Who don’t need milkshakes from the coffee shop either, not to mention soda.

Burgers and fries? Pizza and nachos? Whatever frozen “chicken” shapes you picked up at the grocery store? Fine once in a while, but no need to feed inflammation in kids. Being obese as a child is a safety and health issue, and it’s growing rapidly (no pun intended.)

Can you keep your kids away from screens 24/7? Of course not. Should they have an occasional piece of pizza, soda, plate of nachos, slice of birthday cake? Absolutely. But mostly, for their own safety, all those things should be more occasional treats.


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