BENNINGTON - Can real face time trump screen time?

That is the question to be discussed by Dr. Lynn Mann of SVMC Pediatrics; Maryann Morris, executive director of the Collaborative; and Lisa Kelly, founder of Unplugged, at a free forum on how parents can reduce their family's time in front of a screen. It is presented by Southwestern Vermont Health Care's Wellness Connection.

The afternoon session will take place on Sunday, May 19, from 3-4 p.m. at the Northshire Bookstore.

Family members of all ages spend more and more time in front of computer, television, tablet, smartphone, and video game screens. Although these electronics bring many advantages to people, so far, the research points to several negative effects too much screen time can have on children. These include increased risks of obesity, behavioral challenges, decreased academic performance, and lower levels of social interaction. The three presenters will share information on the impacts of screen time on children and ways parents can get unplugged and change the tide for their family.

The class is free, but registration is required at svhealthcare.org/events.

The Wellness Connection is a community outreach service of Southwestern Vermont Health Care (SVHC). SVHC is an integrated health system providing care for patients in southern Vermont, southeastern New York, and southern Massachusetts. SVHC includes Southwestern Vermont Medical Center (SVMC), SVMC Pediatrics, the SVHC Foundation, VNA & Hospice of SVHC, the Centers for Living & Rehabilitation, and the SVMC Northshire and Deerfield Valley Campuses.

To learn more about SVHC, visit www.svhealthcare.org or its Facebook page.