Is Your Child Glued to a Screen?
New guidelines from the American Association of Pediatricians warn that kids are spending way too much time staring at screens. And, you guessed it, it's bad for their health.
Thanks to the digital age, kids are looking at screens more than ever. The average American 8-year-old spends about eight hours a day in front of a TV, the Internet, iPads, or a smart phone, according to the authors of the AAP statement. Teens often surpass 11 hours. Pediatricians heartily suggest that it should be around two hours a day and children under 2-years-old should get zero screen time at all.
According to the MayoClinic, the risk of high media consumption include obesity, irregular sleep, behavioral problems, and poor test results. Violence, can even be a risk as, "too much exposure to violence through media — especially on TV — can desensitize children to violence."
To make sure your kids aren't hunched drones who are parked in front of a computer all day and night (hi!), here are some tips on how to curb junior's screen time:
- Don't leave them alone with their devices. According to AAP recommendations, parents should watch TV shows and movies with children, and monitor their media usage.
- Families should also set clear rules and curfews on how much screen time is acceptable.
- Children shouldn't have Internet access or televisions in their rooms
- Not all TV is bad. The exception is educational TV shows like "Sesame Street," but it's better consumed in small amounts.
Do you have rules for digital consumption in your home?