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For kids, summer is time for other types of learning

© / Catherine Yeulet © / Catherine Yeulet

(HealthDay News) -- It's important for children to socialize during their summer holidays, a family medicine and psychiatry expert says.

"Kids deserve a break during the summer. They've worked hard during the school year and this is their time to relax, but they should continue interacting with their friends and meeting new people," said Dr. Jin Han. He's an assistant professor at Baylor College of Medicine's department of psychiatry and behavioral sciences, in Houston.

Spending time with friends and meeting new people by doing fun and educational activities such as music, arts and sports programs in the summer helps with their development, he noted.

"If children spend a lot of time alone on their electronic devices, then their spectrum of interaction can be very limited," Han said. "In today's world, it's very easy for kids to stay indoors all day and interact with others virtually, but that is not an ideal way to connect with others. Face-to-face interactions are essential.

"Parents should set limits on how much their children use electronic devices," he added in a Baylor news release.

It's also important for children to spend quality time with their parents and siblings.

"It's not so much the length of time, but quality of time, that families spend together that is really valuable," Han said. "This type of interaction is not something that you can get from anywhere else. It doesn't matter how old the child is, family bonding experiences can happen at any time."

Having children spend time with friends and family doesn't have to put a dent in your wallet, either. For example, going to the neighborhood swimming pool or having a picnic are great ways to enjoy quality time together, Han said.

More information

The American Academy of Pediatrics explains how parents can support their children's friendships.

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