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The Goal of this Toolkit

Welcome to the Media and Child Health Clinician Toolkit! This toolkit details the importance of recognizing media as an environmental health concern, and as such, provides research-based tools for addressing patients’ media related health issues. As you will learn, an essential part of this Toolkit is talking to your patients and their parents about their media exposure and use. Helping them realize how media affect their health and well-being can help prevent poor health outcomes and/or help them understand the complexity of a current health issue, while also providing practical tools and tips for resolving it. This Toolkit contains the research, guidance, and materials you need to inform your patients about the effects of media on their health, instruct them on how to best use media, and set them up for success by providing guidance, tips and tools that they can use in their everyday lives.

Preparing to use the Toolkit
  1. Familiarize yourself with the different sections of the toolkit. Look at the topics that are covered in the menu and read through the “How to” section below. This will tell you how to best use the tools in this Toolkit in your clinical practice.
  2. Watch the video for a demonstration of how to use the information in this toolkit. It models a conversation between the clinician, parent and patient about media use related to a particular health challenge.
  3. Read the Anticipatory Guidance for basic information on how media can be related to 7 different health concerns.
How to use this Toolkit in clinic
Before you enter the exam room…

  1. Have patients and/or their parents to fill out the Media and Health Surveys. Have a staff member collect the surveys and return them to you.
  2. Score each Survey to identify which topics are most relevant for the patient, and which Tip Sheets to provide.
    • Note: Each section of the survey is scored separately in the space provided. Each “Yes” response receives one point. Any section that receives a score of 1-3 denotes a topic that should be covered during the appointment, and a corresponding Tip Sheet should be provided.
  3. Print out the relevant Ages and Stages Tip Sheet(s), so parents (and patients) have specific guidance on managing media with children of particular ages.
  4. Print out the relevant Health and Wellness Tip Sheet(s) to provide guidance for addressing relevant health concerns.
  5. Review the relevant Anticipatory Guidance (listed under each of the 7 specific health concerns on this page). They will offer a quick refresher on the relationship between media use and the identified health outcome, and they will offer research-based tips for how to address that relationship during the visit.

Once you enter the exam room, as part of your overall visit…

  1. Mention the issues that the patient and/or parent raised based on the scored Survey.
  2. Ask for clarifying information about each health issue, such as what exactly their concerns are, and any relevant background information.
  3. Address the concerns using recommendations from the Discussion Guides.
  4. Provide the parent/caregiver with the relevant Tip Sheet(s) and direct them to the Center on Media and Child Health’s website (cmch.tv) for more information.
  5. Let them know they can always contact you with follow-up questions.
As you use this Toolkit, please let us know what you think. What works? What doesn’t? What else would be helpful? Do you have tips or tricks that you can share with other clinicians? Please write to us at cmch@childrens.harvard.edu. We’d love to hear from you!

This toolkit was created with funding from Harvard Pilgrim Health Care