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active kids

Anytime is the perfect time of year to play outdoors together. According to a 2010 study, children aged 8-18 spend more than 7.5 hours per day using entertainment media. This amount of time differs greatly from the 25 minutes per day children typically spend reading books or the 4 to 7 minutes a day playing outside without structure. Children are carrying this sedentary lifestyle and disconnect with nature into adulthood; as a result, this is altering the future health and wellness of our communities.

KidsScreenTime 0224Generation Alpha, children born after 2010, have more alternatives to playing outside than any previous generation. From iPads to video games to smart phones, or even the television, this generation seems to have it all at their fingertips.

Screens can entertain, teach, and keep children occupied, however, too much time can have negative effects on children.  Too much screen time can lead to inadequate sleep, lower grades in school, reading fewer books, spending less time with friends and family, not enough outdoor or physical activity, elevated BMI, or even mood problems. Too much occupancy with a screen leaves little time for the growth, brain development, and responsibility that is gained from being in nature.

Screen time chart4 Ways to decrease screen time and increase active time outdoors

1. Set limits. Sounds simple, right? It’s easy to set limits, but often the limits are unrealistic and quickly disregarded. See chart for screen time recommendations by age.

2. Plan ahead. Sit down with your family and create realistic goals that are displayed in the home. Make certain that your child has a safe and convenient place to play outdoors.

3. Be an example. Be active outdoors with your children. Do activities such as hiking, scavenger hunts, exercise, play games, crafts, or take bike ride.

4. Focus on fun. Keep the activities or time you spend with your children outdoors fun. Don’t overdo it. Do things with your kids they enjoy.

Canton and Woodstock Close at 1030 on Friday

Cherokee County, GA - The Cherokee County Health Department’s Canton and Woodstock Health Centers will close at 10:30 AM on Friday, February 4th, for a joint staff meeting. The health centers normally close on Fridays at 1 PM in Canton and at 1:30 PM in Woodstock to allow for longer hours of service on Tuesdays; however, we apologize for any inconvenience caused by the early closing of these facilities this Friday. Please find all public health services provided in Cherokee County, along with clinic hours, contact information and locations, at


Dalton, GA -  Due to the potential for icy road conditions, the MAKO Medical COVID-19 Drive-thru Testing site in Dalton will DELAY OPENING to 10 AM tomorrow, Saturday, January 29th and will remain open until 1 PM. The location is Pleasant Grove Park, 1732 Pleasant Grove Drive, N.E., Dalton, GA, 30721.

For information about how to register for COVID-19 testing at the MAKO Medical site in Dalton or at their other locations in North Georgia, log onto the North Georgia Health District website at