Kerry Crofton is a public health educator and founder of the Canadian charity Global Alliance for Brain & Heart Health.
Kerry is also a mother and grandmother concerned about the wellbeing of all children.
Her previous books include: The Healthy Type A - good news for go-getters, and A Wellness Guide for the Digital Age - safer tech solutions for all things wired and wireless.
She has been teaching wellness programs and mindfulness meditation for more than forty years.
With her international team of experts including:
Screentime Expert Victoria Dunckley, MD
Dr. Dunckley is an integrative child, adolescent and adult psychiatrist. She is the author of Reset Your Child’s Brain.
She reports that interactive screentime can overstimulate and stress the developing nervous system, particularly in children with vulnerabilities.
Reversing the effects of electronic screentime:
“Screen media is unnaturally intense in sensory, cognitive, and psychological input. Designed to keep the user engaged, it tends to overstimulate the nervous system. The brain interprets all this stimulating input as a form of stress. This in turn triggers fight-or-flight reactions and a high state of arousal, making it difficult to wind down and sleep deeply.
“My book details the science behind how electronics use causes the nervous system to malfunction, how that malfunction translates into different symptoms in different children.
Benefits of the Reset Program:
Normalizes hormones, enhances deep sleep, reduces “excitability” of brain cells, relieves over-stimulated reward (addiction) and sensory pathways
Strengthens mood regulation and stress tolerance; increases capacity for eye contact, reciprocal conversation, and empathy; decreases stress, arguing and negotiating.”
Dr. Dunckley’s book Reset Your Child’s Brain: A Four-Week Plan to End Meltdowns, Raise Grades, and Boost Social Skills by Reversing the Effects of Electronic Screen-Time is an excellent resource.
Screentime expert Tripler Pell, MD
is a family physician, researcher and medical school teacher.
She has a background in academic medicine, and enjoys translating current evidence into practical information to help families stay healthy.
Dr. Pell is also an active mother of three.
Dr. Pell’s advice for other health providers:
“The most important thing health-care providers can do is to start asking the simple question, ‘How much time are you spending on a screen?’ as part of routine patient interactions. This intake question should be as standard as asking about other aspects of health, like physical exercise, eating habits and substance use.
"A useful follow-up question to ask for problematic overuse would be, 'how much screentime is for work or for pleasure, and how much is lost time?’
"There is more work that needs to be done to understand the effects (particularly neurocognitive and inter-relational effects) better, but there is enough evidence to show that decreasing screentime, and emphasizing physical movement and real-time interpersonal relationships are the keys to healthy individuals and societies.”
With her children, Dr. Pell wrote Blinky and The Phone Fiasco: A Family Guide to Screentime Limits. Second edition 2018, Indigo Press.
In this book Dr. Pell raises medical concerns about the health effects of digital media on our children’s health, and offers practical interventions.
With quotes, contributions and resources from the works of:
Judson Brewer, MD, is a psychiatrist specializing in addiction issues, Director of Research at the Mindfulness Center Brown University.
David Carpenter, MD, is the director of the Institute for Health and the Environment at the University of Albany.
Devra Davis, PhD, is a Nobel co-laureate epidemiologist, public health expert and founder of Environmental Health Trust.
Gayatri Devi, MD, MS, is a neurologist specializing in brain injury medicine, behavioral neurology and neuropsychiatry.
Deb Doncaster is President of Earth Day Canada and an advocate of unstructured outdoor play for children.
Victoria Dunckley, MD, is a child and adolescent psychiatrist and expert in electronic screentime. She developed the Reset program.
Sharon Goldberg, MD, is an internal medicine specialist and researcher specializing in environmental medicine.
Jane Goodall, PhD, DBE, is a primatologist, anthropologist, founder of the Jane Goodall Institute and UN Ambassador of Peace – author of Seeds of Hope.
Joan Halifax, PHD, is an ecologist, civil rights activist, mindfulness teacher and Abbot of Upaya Zen Center – author of Standing At The Edge.
Lennart Hardell, MD, PhD, is a Swedish oncologist whose research focuses on environmental risks and preventative measures.
Jon Kabat-Zinn, PhD, founder of MBSR (mindfulness-based stress reduction) is professor emeritus at the Univ. of Mass. Medical School.
Shimi Kang, MD, is a psychiatrist specializing in addiction issues, Clinical Associate Professor at the University of British Columbia and the founder of Dolphin Kids: Future-Ready Leaders – author of The Tech Solution.
Melissa Lem, MD, is Director of Parks Prescriptions for the BC Parks Foundation and a board member of the Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment (CAPE).
Richard Louv is a journalist and author. He is co-founder and Chairman Emeritus of the Children & Nature Network.
Erica Mallery-Blythe, MD, is a UK physician and specialist in environmental medicine and public health education.
Rob Metzinger is an electronics engineering technologist and a certified Building Biology Environmental Consultant.
Joel Moskowitz, PhD, is an epidemiologist and Director of the Center for Family and Community Health at UC Berkeley.
Tripler Pell, MD, MSc, is a physician specializing in both mental and environmental health, with a background in academic medicine.
Alasdair Philips, BSc, DAgE, is an electrical engineer and a founder of Powerwatch, a UK nonprofit focusing on environmental wellness.
Sylvie Rokab is a filmmaker, environmental educator and nature therapy guide who leads Forest Bathing retreats. Her documentary is titled Love Thy Nature.
Cris Rowan, BSc, is an occupational therapist and Founder of Zone In, a program focused on the issue of children and technology.
Stephen Sinatra, MD, is a cardiologist and one of the founders of The American Academy of Anti-aging Medicine.
Mari Swingle, PhD, is a neuroscientist with a specialty in digital addiction and the effects on the brain and behaviour.
My gratitude to those experts and everyone dedicated to healthier tech habits for us and our kids. A special thanks goes to our editor, publicist and Mindful Tech Coach Kiki Cekota for her eagle-eyed editing and passion for this project,
and to Deki Crofton, our researcher and Mindful Tech Coach
for guiding me in using social media positively to convey our message.