If you've managed to avoid video game phenomenon Fortnite in your home, our hats go off to you. The online addiction, famous for its beloved "battle royale" mode, makes a reported $300 million a month for its creator Epic Games, not bad considering it was just released last year.
With its crazy popularity Fortnite has become either a thorn in the side of parents who don't want to experience a battle royale of their own in trying to get kids eyes off of the screen or a quest to improve their child's skills. As previously mentioned on Moms.com, there are moms and dads who are actually hiring Fortnite coaches for their offspring in an effort to increase their skill at the game which they claim is important for their social well-being at school.
No matter where you stand on the game, there's at least one pediatrician who is placing blame on Fortnite for kids' lack of sleep. Iowa's WHOtv Channel 13 spoke with Dr. Nathan Boonstra, a pediatrician at Blank Children’s Hospital, who says that this particular game has more and more families coming to the hospital's sleep clinic with concerns about the amount of zzz's their kiddo is clocking each night.
“There are definitely games that are addictive, this summer a lot of kids were playing a lot of Fortnite and playing it well into the night," he told the station. "I heard a lot of stories about that this week as kids were going back to school and coming to see me in clinic."
This shouldn't come as a shock to parents, who have been instructed to not only limit a child's screen time, but particularly in the hours leading up to your bedtime routine.
Boonstra has three major rules he asks families to follow, including no screens an hour before bed, no screens in the bedroom ever, and stay vigilant about making sure content is age appropriate for the child.
Think about how excited your kid is as they attempt to explain what just happened in their latest Fortnite adventure or foray into Minecraft, they could seemingly talk about it for hours. While the information they're spewing at us sounds completely nonsensical if you don't play either game, that narrative is likely going on in a loop in their brains long after they've stopped playing. So Boonstra very likely is on to something with his charge that Fortnite is getting in the way of proper sleep.
Set parameters around online play, particularly before bed, and reap the benefits of better sleep. It may sound easier than it actually is if you have a gaming aficionado in your house, but the benefits of boundaries is worth it.