What is Just For The Children?
Together with our partners, Just For The Children is dedicated to reimagining the lives of children in an increasingly sedentary, tech-filled world.
It’s true that every time a new device or piece of technology is invented, doomsday scenarios emerge. But never has childhood been exposed to anything that moves at the warp speed of today's tech enabled world.
Our mission is to tackle some of the biggest concerns parents and educators have around the development of these dizzying products, by providing practical, research-based tools, short videos, and advice. We focus on the overall impact of these exciting new products on children, with a greater emphasis on what it does to a child's overall physical health.
We are also taking this all the way to the top. We want to engage parents and other organizations so we can push children and their well-being to the top of the national conversation. We would like solutions to the meta-problem hitting childhood at warp speed. A speed that the creators of some of these products haven’t quite understood, or could reign in.
Some figure to consider.
Childhood obesity has quadrupled since the 1970s, mostly due to ultra-processed foods, lack of movement and the exponential increase in screens.
70 percent of US teens sleep with screens in their bedroom and one third wake up at night to check notifications.
Ultra-processed foods make up 2/3rds of an American child's diet today. Today, children receive over a thousand messages whilst on tech, and some of it contains enticing junk food ads, and new ways to keep a child sedentary.
The average teenager spends between 7 and 9 hours a day on screens, more than any other activity.
As dependence on educational technologies (EdTech) rose with the pivot to online/hybrid learning, some researchers are concerned that an almost $20 billion dollar industry has way too much influence on education and the children they serve. It's still largely unregulated and even lawmakers and educators are not fully aware of the larger implications of "Ed-Tech."
Reports from major publications stated school children are being given more screens during class time but very little research or training has been done on posture, effects on eye-sight, the need for more physical breaks than in the past, and most importantly the dramatic increase in sedentary behavior.
We are not going to allow these numbers to rise any further.
Just For The Children’s journey began in 2019 when Samira Sine and David Kirsch gave a talk to a group of concerned parents in New York.
The talk comprised of parents who signed up to learn about overall well-being in the Digital Age. The numbers were high for a freezing cold Sunday afternoon. They both realized a lot more needed to be done, and the approach had to be fact-based, and a call to action was needed. Too many organizations were producing expensive research reports that didn't provide any real interventions for parents, and very little was being done to regulate Big Tech, the Fast Food advertising industry, and the video game industry. These industries together are powerful and if not regulated, have proven what they are doing to our children. We aim to investigate, advocate and talk to you, as parents, as experts and as people who want to help make sense of the world our children are being raised in.
Samira Sine was running Common Sense Media’s East Coast office, after over 15 years as a journalist, first at the BBC and then over a decade at Reuters News in New York. She often covered stories around serious health issues for children, and once almost passed out during open-heart surgery for a 6 year old child. She knew she had to pull it together and then go sit with the surgeon and discuss his cutting-edge new interventions that gave hope to parents. Before rushing back to the bureau to put the story out to the world, under Reuters Health News. She is also a parent to tweens and teens and has seen how every passing year brings new challenges for parents and educators.
David Kirsch is a world-renowned health and fitness guru with over 30 years of experience. Known for his unique mind-body approach to fitness, he’s trained the best names from Heidi Klum to Jennifer Lopez, and helped prepare athletes go on to win the biggest sports tournaments on the earth. With degrees in law and pre-med, David turned to fitness at a time when it wasn't considered a real career. David is also a single father to twin girls, and cares deeply about overall fitness and nutrition. During the pandemic, David wanted to provide his quality workouts to all families and children and used social media channels to help hundreds of thousands of people with free workouts, nutrition advice, and much more. He has studied the human body and health as part of his training, and helped many famous athletes achieve unimagined heights with his unique ways of keeping bodies healthy and fit.