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Put Away the Screens and Pull Out Books During National Family Literacy Month

Published: November 20, 2023

When the weather cools down, and kids head back inside for the winter months, it can be easy to pull out the electronics to keep them entertained. While screen time is fine in moderation, balancing it out with other activities like reading can help lower their risk of developing a problem with gaming or betting. 

Multiple studies have shown that excessive screen time and video games have been linked to an increased risk of developing a problem with gambling later in life. That’s because many video games contain character upgrades, spin-to-win features, and more that mimic the sounds and sensations of gambling. 

In particular, loot boxes are a common feature that gives users a chance to win in-game prizes that enhance their play. The “highs” and “lows” that players experience can lead them to chase their losses, which is a common behavior of problem gambling.

With that information in hand, here’s how your family can take a screen break by observing National Family Literacy Month: 

  1. Read as a family: Kids are more likely to engage in behaviors they see their parents or caregivers doing. So, if they see you reading, chances are, they’ll do it too! So, pull-out the books as a family. You can read your own books while your child reads theirs, or you can all sit together and read the same book aloud. The options are endless!
  2. Visit your local library: Going to the library is a great way to encourage reading with children, and you don’t have to spend a single dollar on books! If you also sign up for fun events there or pick up a special treat on the way, the library will quickly become something kids look forward to every week. 
  3. Donate books: If you do have shelves full of books in your home, go through and see which ones are collecting a good amount of dust. Take those off the shelf and donate them to different organizations, so others can experience the joy of reading.
  4. Get Free Books: Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library of Ohio mails kids one free book each month until their fifth birthday. Any child in Ohio between birth and age five years old can enroll in the program for free at:

During Family Literacy Month in November, Change the Game Ohio hopes you’re able to crack open some books and read together as a family. There are also various resources for parents, youth, and educators looking for ways to talk to children about their gaming behaviors. Visit the website today and get involved in preventing youth gambling in Ohio.

If you or a member of your family are showing signs of gaming addiction, make the call to Ohio’s Problem Gambling Helpline now. Trained and understanding specialists are standing by 24/7 to provide you with support. Your call is free, and your personal information is kept confidential. Call 1-800-589-9966 or text 4HOPE to 741741.

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